P.O.E.S. – Finances (Mandatory Third Party Withholding from Payroll)

SUBJECT: Finances (Mandatory Third Party Withholding from Payroll)
RELATED : a. Law 1264/1982 (Government Gazette A’ 79, “For the democratization of the Trade Union Movement and the securing of workers’ trade union freedoms”)
b. Our announcement of 28-Nov-23
c. F. 800/1/3116/S.511/10-Jan-24/MINISTRY/GDOSY/DOI
Mr. Minister.
In the last few days there has been a lot of unrest and indignation among some of the ED staff, who are contacting our Federation and protesting, justifiably in an angry tone, about a mandatory one-off deduction of €30 imposed in favor of third parties, through a secondary trade union of military associations (not of our Federation).
As it is conveyed to us by executives who wish for unionization to exist but are opposed to these practices and therefore address our Federation, they did not give any express consent to the other Federation (the “Ministry trade unionists”, as they describe them verbatim) to proceed in the specific withholding.
In this regard, we remind you that with our (b) relevant announcement, again following complaints, we had dealt with the particularly strange rush to carry out said withholding, providing executives with a minimum period of time to declare their desire to be exempted from the obligation of said generalized movement
Although the outcry created in November 2023 appeared to negate any intentions for direct and non-transparent intervention in the salaries of executives, the other Federation returned in January 2024, as evidenced by a document from GDOSY [(γ) σχετικό], which orders said withholding. This document raises very serious questions because, among other things, it explicitly refers to “subscription of members”.
According to article 30C of (a) related (para. 12), member contributions (subscription) are withheld through the relevant payroll bodies of the General Staffs and are attributed 2/3 to the Federations and 1/3 to the Unions. It should be pointed out, because we will comment on it below, that the primary Unions are registered as members of the military (para. 4a and 5 of the same), while the Federations have primary Unions as members (para. 4b). Also, it is expressly provided that military personnel can only become members of the Associations where the Units in which they serve are based, while in the event of a transfer, military personnel are automatically deleted (para. 5).
According to article 9 of the statute of the Federation in question – as long as it has not been amended – the Federation reserves the right (following a decision of the Board of Directors) to impose a mandatory or voluntary extraordinary contribution to cover emergency needs or ensure financial conditions for the achievement of the goals of the Federation in its members, i.e. in the primary Unions, not in the military. Also, article 10 – as long as it has not been amended – provides that it is prohibited for the Federation in question and its Bodies to receive a commission when carrying out acts of exploitation of its property.
With the document No. prot. […] and a not inconsiderable donation amounting to 20,000 euros for the needs of the Federation…”. There is generally a public acknowledgment of a monetary consideration, in the form of a sponsorship to the Federation in question from the allegedly involved law firm, for this particular agreement. However, to our knowledge, sponsorships are not usually contingent on the implementation of an agreement.
To the above must be added complaints that have come to our attention about members of primary associations who:
a. They have applied for their deletion, as they have every right to do, and yet not only do you continue to deduct from their pay a regular monthly contribution, but the “extraordinary” contribution of the supposed legal cover has also been withheld.
b. They expressly stated that they do not wish to withhold the said extraordinary levy and despite this it was done.
c. We even know of a case where there is no withholding of the monthly membership fee (generally, it does not show that there is a membership relationship), but €30 was withheld.
From the above, a chaotic situation emerges, in the context of which, -if the claim put forward by officials of the other Federation is true that it allegedly represents 20,000 members-, it appears that within one night, through withholding from the payroll of members of the armed forces, an amount exceeding half a million euros with the justifications “PRO POMENS FOR 2024 LEGAL COVERAGE” (SX) or “POMENS” (PN) or “ME POMENS NOM CAL” (PA). Where does it appear from the above descriptions on the payroll sheets that legal coverage is provided by a law firm, when to date we have not been informed that the contract has been posted, or there has been no confirmation from the allegedly involved law firm?
Mr. Minister.
We are addressing you because, despite the fact that our Federation is not involved in any way in the above practices, a serious institutional issue is created in this case, with the collusion, in fact, of the Services of the Ministry, which discredits, in general, the right of his union in the Armed Forces. In this case, questions arise that we believe must not only be answered, but also properly investigated through the urgent procedure. Specifically:

On the basis of which provision in the general or special regulatory and institutional framework was the mandatory withholding from the salaries of the executives ordered by the Ministry and in fact in favor of a third private person, at the request of a trade union body, an action which, in the future, may be considered collusion in unfair competition?
Since when does the Ministry of Health provide, through its official mechanisms, intermediary-type facilities, in the act of mass transfer of clientele to private individuals and how can the public admission of the existence of a monetary consideration be interpreted?
It was brought to the attention of the executives (but also the services of your Ministry), before any withholding, any contract with the allegedly involved law firm, so that they know the exact range of benefits they will have (coverages), so that they can consent or not to the their “participation”?
Since when is failure to raise an objection presumed to be consent to withholding on an employee’s individual payroll? Do you know, Minister, of a similar precedent in any other Federation or Confederation of workers?

Mr. Minister.
We are absolutely certain that, despite the fact that the other Federation allegedly regularly advertises its presence, through its executive, in Your Military Office, You could not have been aware of the above procedure and the involvement of the Ministry Services in it. We are certain, of your fairness, that you will not refer the officers of the Armed Forces to individually resort to Justice for an arbitrary and, in our opinion, abusive interference with their pay, in order to claim their own money. No, when this intervention was made with the “willing” cooperation of the Services of your Ministry and no, when there are so many reasoned reactions from officials who feel aggrieved.
Regarding our Federation, we remain at your disposal for any clarification or information.
Messrs. Members of the Hellenic Parliament, to whom this is communicated, are requested to highlight the matter, through parliamentary control.

Read the original at Defence247.gr

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