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December 2, 2020

10,000 employees to be laid off in next two months, Interior Minister says

Accompanied by the heads of Ministry departments, the head of the Anti-Corruption General Directorate and the heads of the General Information and Internal Protection Directorate, Traian Igas was heard yesterday within the Lower Chamber’s Defence Commission.

Asked about the layoffs, the Minister announced that 10,000 employees will be laid off in the upcoming period. “I’ve eliminated those interpretations according to which 18-19,000 employees will be laid off. The number of employees that will have to leave the MAI stands at 10,000. I estimate that this will happen in the next 2 months,” Igas stated when coming out of the hearing.

Igas added that, “naturally,” an important number of Central Apparatus employees will leave, this being for the first time since 1989 when their number will drop below 1,000. The Minister pointed out that this restructuring has a legal basis and a series of government decisions will be issued in order to “help the whole action.” Igas stated before the hearing that those opposing the modernization of the Ministry and the legislative changes proposed will realize they are making a mistake. Nevertheless, Igas announced that those laid off will not receive compensatory salaries given the country’s economic situation, but they will benefit from professional reconversion courses.

In reply, PNL MP Mihaita Calimente, member of the Defence Commission, contradicted Igas, pointing out that the sacking of 10,000 people in two months’ time is not possible because a legal framework for that is missing.

The MPs wanted to know whether there are funds for the resumption of food rations in July. The Internal Affairs Minister again offered assurances that food rations will be paid in July, the cuts being temporary.

Policemen lose antenna radiation bonus too

Despite the assurances that Igas gave yesterday and on Tuesday during his negotiations with policemen’s trade unions, the situation of MAI employees is showing no signs of improving. Trade union members now complain of the fact that the bonus for exposure to antenna radiation no longer has been offered in several Counties because the measurements conducted by MAI representatives have shown that in those Counties the antenna radiations are below the accepted limit and the bonus is no longer justified. In reply, Marin Gruia, President of the Policemen’s and Contractual Personnel’s National Trade Union (SNPPC) stated for realitatea.net that the officials’ measurements are not correct and the trade union has asked for a counter-valuation it will pay from its own funds. “It’s not normal for this antenna radiation bonus to be offered only in some Counties, given that the institution uses the same equipment,” Gruia added.

Policemen’s statute criticized again

Trade union members also criticized the new changes brought to the Policemen’s Statute, claiming that appointment to top offices will be made on political basis, the draft stipulating that the head of the Romanian Police General Inspectorate (IGPR) will be appointed after Parliamentary parties are consulted. Moreover, the document stipulates that the IGPR leadership will have 4-year terms. Trade union members state that the draft has already been transmitted within the Ministry.

Minister Igas snapped when asked, before the hearing in Parliament, about the changes to be brought to the Policemen’s Statute. “I see you’ve woken up with joie de vivre this morning,” Igas told the journalists. When the journalists insisted, Igas added: “You’re mean. Have a nice day.”

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