Press release: Large number of complaints due to the deployment of staff in state administration

Permanent deployment of civil servants and state employees causes the dissatisfaction of staff in the state administration who often complaint about the demotion, according to the preliminary findings of the Institute Alternative (IA).

During 2014, total of 126 complaints have been filed against the order of demotion of civil servants and state employees, 89 of which were adopted, according to the research of IA conducted within the project “State administration in Montenegro – Equal for All”, financed by the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica.

Considering the fact that the number of employees in state administration is roughly 10500, the findings show that roughly one percent of employees has shown the dissatisfaction with the demotion procedures.

Although the Law stipulated the possibility of temporary and permanent demotion within and among the state administration organs, the majority of complaints are related to the permanent demotion within the single state body.

The employees in the state administration mostly complained because they felt illegally relegated, i.e. demoted to lower working positions which implies lower salaries and lower level of qualification.

In two cases, the orders for the demotion are explained as “the continuous mobbing and attempt of regimentation” by the officers who filed the complaint.

In one case, the officer was demoted to the lower position during his sick leave, although the Law clearly stipulates that it is not allowed to demote the civil servant or state employee during the period of permanent inability to work.

In 12 cases, the employees in the state administration have filed the complaint because they have been demoted to the positions not granting the beneficiary years of service, although that was the practice on the previous position.

However, the large number of the complaints was adopted due to formal omissions of the state bodies but not for the alleged demotion of the employees.

Namely, in the large number of cases the state bodies have been bringing the orders of demotion for the time period which was partly expired although the retroactive effect of these orders is not allowed, which was the reason for the cancellation of these orders.

Moreover, the majority of these complaints have been adopted because the parties had not been allowed to neither participate in the procedure or to give statements about the important facts and circumstances which had brought to their demotion.

The deployment of the civil servants and state employees due to reorganization and rationalization of jobs in state bodies and the termination of those, as well as the decisions on the selection of the candidates on previously published vacancies, is one of the two main ways of filling the vacancies in the state administration.

The filed complaints imply the widespread opinion of the civil servants and state employees that their deployment cannot jeopardize their previously obtained rights.

The Appeal Commission, however, advocates different point of view which can be seen in one order where it is explicitly stated that only in the case of the temporary deployment the employees can reserve their rights obtained at the previous position.

Milena Milošević
Public Policy researcher

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