Ukraine: protests against cuts in workers' labour rights
On November 14, a trade union protest action against the cuts in existing rights of workers' and for decent living conditions was held near the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. About five thousand trade union activists from all regions of Ukraine took part in the rally to make their voice heard.
The new government in “turboregime” has already introduced changes to the legislation depriving civil servants and public sector workers of the rights to social protection in case of dismissals. New neoliberal Labour Code is being prepared by authorities, which, as was announced, will contain discriminatory norms as to the workers’ labour rights and undermine their collective protection.
The protesters marched along the Kyiv central streets and held a rally in front of the Parliament building voicing their demands to the draft State Budget 2020 and in support of the draft Labour Code prepared by trade unions.
The march took place on that very day when the MPs considered the draft State Budget of Ukraine 2020. The trade union proposals to provide for necessary financing of the public sector, energy and industries were not taken into account. According to the trade unions, this will risk to put workers and their families at the edge of survival, to generate mass job cuts and the next wave of labour migration.
Numerous members of the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine from many regions of the country joined the protest actions. The representatives of education trade unions took the floor and address the rally to draw attention to the challenges and voice demands specific to education sphere.
Trade union rally was supported by a range of other rights protecting NGOs, representing individual entrepreneurs, farmers, self-employed workers. After the rally they all gave a press conference and set up a joint national strike committee to prepare for the national strike if demands of the protesters would be ignored.
OF THE TRADE UNION OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE OF UKRAINE
To set in the State Budget 2020:
1.living minimum for able-bodied at the level of UAH 5640;
minimum wage at the level of UAH 7276;
salary of the first grade public sector workers at the level of UAH 7276.
2. To provide in the State Budget 2020 the public spending on education of at least 7% of GDP.
3. To implement the Government’s resolution No 822 concerning setting the lowest teacher salary at the level of three living minimums.
4. To increase students’ academic scholarships to the living minimum
5. To maintain school teachers’ additional payments such as allowances and bonuses.
6. To not close small schools in the countryside.
7. To provide for such a size of the education subvention that is needed to fully pay wages to secondary school teachers.
8. To review the formula of distribution of the education subvention, to cancel such ineffective indicators like number of students per 1 square kilometre, etc.
9. To prevent artificial saving on educational spending (on purchases of school busses, renovation of school toilets, etc) by changing the procedure of the use of the education subvention.
10. To ensure financing of the public higher educational establishments according to the established norms
11. To prevent:
dismissal of teachers who receive age pension;
imposing of short-term contracts on education workers, including «at their wish»;
increase in the teachers’ workload from 18 to 40 hours per week;
mandatory certification of teachers.
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