site.btaPrison Guards and Staff Protest for Higher Wages and Better Working Conditions

Prison Guards and Staff Protest for Higher Wages and Better Working Conditions
Prison Guards and Staff Protest for Higher Wages and Better Working Conditions
Protesting prison staff unfurled a banner reading "We protest against the outrages in prisons that have become the norm", Sofia, May 12, 2023 (BTA photo)

Prison guards and staff of the Sofia prison came out to protest in front of the building of the Sofia Central prison. They are demanding a return to 24-hour shifts, improved working conditions, and more staff so as to reduce the work load. The protest is organized by the Trade Union of Prison Staff in Bulgaria (TUPSB). 

On Thursday, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Justice with the representatives of the trade unions of prison officers and the Ministry leadership. The Ministry told the unions that there were no resources for a pay rise, and that the way in which prison officers currently give 12-hour shifts would not be changed. 

Correctional officers and staff have been taking to the streets across the country, at various times. This was pointed out to journalists by Yassen Todorov, chairman of the TUPSB, after a meeting with the Ministry of Justice leadership yesterday. 

On October 25, 2022 TUPSB organized a protest in front of the Ministry of Justice. The dissatisfaction was caused by a change in their work schedule after the ministry began phasing in a 12-hour shift schedule instead of the 24-hour one.

Nearly fifty employees from the prison in Sliven protested for about an hour in front of the Women's Prison, Tsvetan Mihaylov, member of the Board of the TUPSB, told BTA. The guards were supported by the trade union of the Interior Ministry employees.

The protesters' demands include measures to tackle corruption and aggression in prisons.

Guards from Sliven will join a May 19 rally outside the Justice Ministry in Sofia.

According to the Ministry of Justice, there are 210 inmates in the prison wing in Sliven and in the two open-type dormitories, Ramanusha and Sliven, and 37 detainees in custody. The total number of staff is 161, of whom 111 are warders and security staff. 

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By 01:18 on 18.04.2024 Today`s news

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