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Czech Gov't Agency for Social Inclusion sees more staff quit over allegedly untransparent hire of new director

30.5.2015 8:19
Striking workers of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion held a press conference on 11 May 2015. (PHOTO:  Jan Čonka)
Striking workers of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion held a press conference on 11 May 2015. (PHOTO: Jan Čonka)

Wednesday's announcement of the new director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion, Radek Jiránek, has not managed to halt the departure of another 10 employees. Notice has been given, for example, by the interim director, Alena Zieglerová, by an expert in debt counseling, and by a lawyer with the Government department.

Jiránek was one of seven candidates for the post and up to now has been leading the Department of Crime Prevention at the Czech Interior Ministry. The current outgoing staffers are following a first wave of 14 resignations and are justifying their decisions by alleging that the hiring procedure was not transparent and that the future direction of the Agency is unpredictable.    

Of the Agency's 70 employees, a total of 24 have quit so far. News server Romea.cz. publishes in full translation the 29 May statement of these most recent departures below.

Information on the departure of another 10 staffers from the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion

As of today and during the months of June and July another 10 staffers of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion will be giving notice. They include interim director Alena Zieglerová, who has worked for the Agency since 2011 as the head of its division of expertise.  

Since the manager of the division on localities gave notice during the first wave of employee departures, that means both of these managerial staffers will now be working within their notice periods before leaving the Agency. The other nine staffers are employed through work contracts and will time their giving of notice per their own obligations, given that their contracts require a 15-day notice period, starting today and lasting through the month of July.    

Among those prepared to leave is a department lawyer, an expert on debt counseling, and project advisers. An expert in the field of education and three local consultants will also be leaving.  

"We fully identify with the reasons given by our colleagues who gave notice on 21 May. Our departures are connected to the steps taken by Minister Dienstbier and Deputy Minister Štěpánková, which we perceive to be destructive and unpredictable with respect to the future work of the Agency in municipalities and at national level," the outgoing staffers say.  

These second-wave employees were originally waiting to meet with the Czech Prime Minister by the end of this month. That meeting was supposed to confirm the compromise solution of establishing the Agency within the structure of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic as an independent section equal to the Human Rights Section as part of the Office of the Human Rights Minister.

The other aspect of the compromise was that the Agency would not be subordinate to the Czech Government Inter-ministerial Commission on Roma Community Affairs, but to a newly-established Government Committee on Social Inclusion. However, the meeting with the PM where the form of this separate section will be negotiated and proposed is not scheduled until 5 June.  

What is more, the non-transparent hiring process for the director of the Agency was not cancelled, but was completed. There has been no notification as to who all the candidates were that applied, and the vision for the further direction of the Agency held by the chosen candidate, Radek  Jiránek, is not known.

All of the public appearances to date by Minister Dienstbier, Deputy Minister Štěpánková, and director Jiránek are continuing to intensify the concern and uncertainty of the Agency's employees, who are no longer able to represent the Agency during everyday negotiations, as they are unable to guarantee to their partners that the Agency will develop in a positive direction. During the notice period the outgoing staffers will finish as many of their obligations as possible so as to not endanger the successful completion of the Agency's obligations towards its partners. 

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Agentura pro sociální začleňování, Jiří Dienstbier, Výběrové řízení, aktuální dění



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