Polish Federation of Social Workers and Social Service Employees Unions (PFZPSiPS), our member organization in Poland, asked us to publish their press release regarding their protest:
On the 12th of October in Warsaw, PFZPSiPS have organised a PROTEST. It was a rebellion against the way that social environment has been treated for many years.
Roots of the problem are very deep
This situation was caused by the politics who have been not sensitive to the voice of practitioners for very long time.
PFZPSiPS tried to influence on Polish government to make some steps forward by changing the law with the aim of improving situation of social work in the country. In effect, all working on fields of social work would be able to earn more, work more effectively and feel safe in their everyday duties.
We regret to say that currently no dialogue takes place between the government and social services environment in Poland. Elżbieta Rafalska, the Ministry of Family, Work and Social Politics has refused her responsibility for that situation. PFZPSiPS, as a voice of practitioners, suggested the Ministry reasonable changes to make the social politics more equal than it is nowadays. The prepositions pointed at the most important and overlooked social policy areas such as dignity, labor rights, safety, bureaucracy and wages.
It is important to be mentioned that social policy in Poland is based on the state law. That law is adopted by government, so the way it works and how financial resources are divided depends on Ministry decisions. Unfortunately, Ministry has refused to implement non-financial and financial solutions either. That is the reason why the problems of social politics started to grow up and now are out of scale.
This situation leaded to the first in history social services REBELLION in Poland
The social work environment has united and created something, that in our opinion, no one could predict. For one moment in time Warsaw was the capital city of social services. Employees hired in all kind of social institutions, from almost every town in Poland gathered on Friday noon at the Free Thought Square, brought flags and banners with harsh words written on them such as ‘decent work decent pay’ etc, they showed how much they are disappointed in the treatment received from the Ministry.
Crowd of approximately 2k people used whistles, sirens, drums even lids chanting anti governmental slogans so that everyone could hear them and knew what they are fighting for.
At the same time who could not came to Warsaw, joined to the protesters by wearing black clothes or taking day off from work. Spontaneously some of them made photo at work to show their solidarity by posting it in different kind of social media.
Almost every media broadcast in country showed the shortcut of that event. The only exception was the Polish Television S.A. which is financed by the government.
We are amazed of this what had place. The size of that protest exceeded our expectations. The will of change that was asleep finally woke up and it seems that nothing can stop it.