Prosecutors latest group on strike
Slovenian prosecutions staged a one-day strike on 31 January, following in the footsteps of judges, who went on a two-week go-slow earlier in the month to step up pressure on the government to raise their pay as ruled by the Constitutional Court. This was after an hour's work stoppage by both groups on 4 January failed to produce a result.
The prosecutors went ahead with their pre-planed industrial action after the government refused to engage in talks with them or judges to raise their pay, insisting on tackling all issues as part of a comprehensive reform of the pay system of the entire public sector.
The strike, in which most of the country's 208 prosecutors took part by suspending work for three hours and only dealing with urgent or priority matters for the rest of the day, comes as doctors have been on strike for the 17th day and staff at major administrative units are wrapping up their three-day strike.
While higher pay is the shared demand of all professional groups on strike, prosecutors and judges say theirs has nothing to do with public sector pay talks but rather with the rule of law and abiding by court rulings, in particular those of the Constitutional Court.
The latter ruled in June 2023 that the judicial pay was much too low compared to what office holders in the executive and legislative branches of government are getting, which the court sees as risk to the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.
The court gave the government until 3 January to remedy the situation, which the government said it would do but not before public sector pay reform is put in place.
The prosecutors sent a proposal to the government to raise their monthly salary by €1,244 gross, which is the difference between the minimum salary of a local state prosecutor and that of a member of parliament.
Having ended their two-week work-to-rule on 24 January, judges now say they will no longer scale back their work because their intention is not to hurt the people. They will, however, step up their efforts to notify EU institutions about the violation and bring individual suits against the state.
They have also asked the Constitutional Court to determine just how the pay ruling should be put into effect. The Judicial Council proposes judges get a raise of €1,072 gross a month, starting from June 2023, which the Prosecutorial Council supports and expects the same sum to be awarded to prosecutors.