Police force gets new job classification

Ljubljana – The police has a new classification of jobs, which its leadership says adjusts the organisation of work to new security challenges, while a trade union criticises it for bringing more paperwork and introducing more managerial or well-paid jobs. It is also bothered by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reporting to the criminal police head.

The police told the STA the new system, which took effect on Monday, was introduced to align police work to long-term development goals.

Over the past decade, the police has faced security challenges such as more illegal migration, new forms of crime, dense motorway traffic, and the Covid-19 epidemic.

Many police officers are sceptical about the changes, pointing to more administrative jobs and the “proliferation of best paid jobs in the police”, said Rok Cvetko, the head of the PSS union, which has been on strike since 11 January.

“These jobs have been obviously introduced to re-employ workers who will be, it seems, dismissed when the police gets a new police commissioner,” he said.

He believes the new rules do not follow the principles of career system, because “in most of the cases, they are adjusted for certain individuals and interest groups”.

The police leadership rejects the criticism about the career system, telling the newspaper Večer the new rules simply introduce certain jobs needed for the police to carry out its tasks.

As for the proliferation of well-paid jobs, the police leadership says an adequate classification of jobs is needed to properly organise work and delegate tasks.

The trade union’s criticism is also directed against changes regarding the NBI and the special police unit.

From now on, the NBI director general no longer reports directly to the police commissioner, but to the director of the criminal police department.

The information obtained by the STA indicates that some object this solution, arguing the police leadership bypassed legislation.

The police leadership meanwhile told Večer this arrangement is more logical, while it does not affect the NBI’s autonomy.

The new rules also bring the basis to introduce a motorway police department, after it was announced in late 2020 that a motorway patrol unit would be formed in early 2021.

However, some believe the traffic police sector within the uniformed police department already carries out the tasks the new department will be entrusted with.

Some have also taken issue with the introduction of two deputies to the chaplain in the police force.

The General Police Department told the STA in response to the criticism about increasing administrative staff that every organisation and its units needed a certain number of administrative and managerial staff.

It said such changes were carefully planned on the basis of the needs for more administrative and managerial staff to make the police adequately efficient.

This is to take the pressure of administration off police officers as much as possible, the department said, adding the number of managerial jobs follows the rise in the number of police officers.

The new job classification brings 354 newly classified jobs, of which 325 for police officers and 29 for administrative or managerial jobs, but they bring no wage changes.

The job classification rules are signed by the interior minister, while social partners, that is trade unions, can give a non-binding opinion.