Judicial officials “tired” of promises return to the streets today

Demonstrations take place today in Faro, Lisbon, Porto, Madeira and Azores

Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Judicial employees demonstrate today across the country, declaring themselves “tired of unfulfilled promises” on matters such as the new statute, in a protest organized by the class and which has the support of the unions.

In a note released by a promoter of the demonstrations taking place today in Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Madeira and Azores, court officials recall that their demands are decades old, but that, despite successive and long strikes since the start of 2023, they remain unmet.

Better salaries, the integration of the procedural recovery supplement upon salary, the classification of the career at a higher level of complexity, better working conditions and the hiring of at least a thousand new judicial employees, a special retirement regime and the granting of a bonus risk are among the demands that are taking the class back to the streets, in five different parts of the country, practically simultaneously.

The demands, say the justice officials in the note about the demonstrations, "are not recent" and continue without knowing "any type of solution", but "only promises by the Ministry of Justice", to whom they attribute a proposal to review statutes of judicial employees – presented at the end of 2023 and highly criticized by unions – which “would create division within their own career”.

They also point out that the career is “lagging behind” in relation to other careers in Justice, namely that of registrars, who are now equated to senior public administration technicians.

«Given the lack of a solution, we find ourselves tired of promising so much and not fulfilling anything, as well as being disrespected, when we know perfectly well that without us Justice will not work as well as it does when strikes are carried out which can lead to, as has already happened in past, to the postponement of many steps», recall these professionals.

Court officials add that the complexity of the functions they perform requires that they also be equated with senior technicians.

The class demonstrates today in Lisbon, in front of the Assembly of the Republic, at 14 pm, in Porto, next to the Palace of Justice, at 00:14 pm; in Faro, also next to the Palace of Justice, at 14:30 pm; in Madeira, at the Funchal Palace of Justice, at 14:30 pm; and in the Azores, next to the Ponta Delgada Palace of Justice, at 13:30 pm (local time).

The demonstrations, called by an extra-union movement, have the support of the unions, with the Judicial Employees Union (SFJ) and the Justice Officers Union (SOJ) appealing to their members, in publications on their official pages, to to participate in Saturday's demonstrations and concentrations, in favor of class unity.

After more than a year of strikes and demonstrations, judicial employees continue without having their careers reviewed and without new statutes approved, a process that began at the end of last year, and which has since been suspended with the fall of the Government and the scheduling of elections legislative meetings for March, with the Minister of Justice, Catarina Sarmento e Castro, having already sent the conclusion of the negotiations to her successor in the portfolio.

The Government's proposal, however, received harsh criticism from the two judicial employee unions.

The union structures criticized the career attempt in two, among other aspects. It also received harsh criticism from the judiciary, with judges criticizing the devaluation of the career; prosecutors alerted to the consequences for the autonomy of the Public Ministry; and the Superior Council of the Judiciary pointed out the recovery of a “bureaucratic monster” in the courts and the violation of the principle of separation of powers.

Strikes during due diligence, overtime, partial strikes and total strikes led to the postponement of thousands of legal proceedings, the postponement of trial sessions and the delay in the progress of thousands of cases, consequences that led the Minister of Justice to accuse the unions, in the first months of strike in 2023, of being “devastated by Justice”.