The Minister noted that since 2013, when the Collective Agreement was signed, the provision for paying the service award bonus was not complied with and that no ARM member and MoD employee has ever been entitled to this right that was guaranteed.
“All these past years, 700 employees who qualify for receiving the service award bonus have sued the Ministry of Defence. Out of these 700 lawsuits, 250 have already been completed and the courts have ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Hence, the MoD has paid for not only the service award bonus, but also court fees for a long time,” the Minister said, adding that on the basis of these lawsuits, the Ministry has paid over 13 million Denars, of which over 7.5 million were only court costs.
According to the Collective Agreement of 2013, only those who worked for 15 years in the MoD and the Army were entitled to the service award bonus, but not those who have worked longer. Today, the signed amendment to the Collective Agreement corrects this injustice.
“We have made a decision that is both legal and ethical, to amend this article from the Collective Agreement and state that those who have 15 years of experience and those who have more than 15 years of experience are entitled to the service award bonus. Therefore, today, together with the representative trade union we signed the Collective Agreement with in 2013, we have agreed and signed an amendment to the Collective Agreement which will ensure payment of the service award bonus to all MOD and ARM employees with 15 and more years of continuous work experience,” Shekerinska said.
The Minister thanked the Trade Union of Security and Defence for its speed and efficiency, and also thanked the other defence unions at the meeting.
The President of the Defence and Security Union, Risto Ajtov and signatory of the Collective Agreement from 2013, expressed his satisfaction that the Ministry and Minister Shekerinska closed another segment of the obligation of the Collective Agreement and stressed that the Trade Union will continue to fight for the promotion of the employees’ rights in the future as it will lead to satisfied workers with greater productivity.