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Nation’s Memory Institute to lay off staff, causing cries of foul

Layoffs are planned at the Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN) and seven of the nine people scheduled to lose their jobs have already been informed, the Sme daily wrote on January 12, adding that employees who had worked on preparing an amendment to the Act on the ÚPN last year are among those to be laid off. A month ago the cabinet passed the amendment, designed to boost the powers of this institution that examines crimes conducted under the past fascist and communist regimes. ÚPN stated that the layoffs will cut its administrative and supervisory staff and reduce its costs.

Layoffs are planned at the Nation’s Memory Institute (ÚPN) and seven of the nine people scheduled to lose their jobs have already been informed, the Sme daily wrote on January 12, adding that employees who had worked on preparing an amendment to the Act on the ÚPN last year are among those to be laid off. A month ago the cabinet passed the amendment, designed to boost the powers of this institution that examines crimes conducted under the past fascist and communist regimes. ÚPN stated that the layoffs will cut its administrative and supervisory staff and reduce its costs.

Patrik Dubovský, one of the associates of the spiritual father of the institution – Ján Langoš – sees the layoffs as a vendetta against those sitting on the workgroup that prepared the amendment, as the amendment also shortens the tenure of the ÚPN head. The post is currently held by Ivan Petranský, a nominee of the Slovak National party (SNS). Sme wrote that it is unlikely that parliament will pass the amendment before the March elections, meaning that Petranský will remain at ÚPN's helm.

Representatives of both the Employees’ Works Council and the Independent Christian Trade Union (NKOS) will discuss the layoffs with ÚPN management, the SITA newswire wrote.

Marián Gula, another staff member scheduled to be sacked, is one of the institute's founders and serves as the head of the record-keeping section and is a member of the institute's executive committee. For the past year, Gula was a member of Prime Minister Iveta Radičová's workgroup that drafted the amendment. The laid off employees were officially declared redundant but they told SITA that they do not consider the reasons stated for the redundancy to comply with the Labour Code. ÚPN spokesman Ján Pállfy told SITA that ÚPN's budget was reduced in comparison with last year.

Dubovský, however, told SITA that the institute's budget was not properly approved and the head of the ÚPN board, Ján Ondriaš, told Sme that the budget of ÚPN had remained the same as last year but Petranský had transferred part of the budget for salaries into the “purchase of goods and services” category. Petranský denied this and insisted that he had sent for (parliamentary) approval the budget proposal agreed to by the ÚPN board.


Source: Sme, SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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