25 years of the Independent Union of science and high education
The Independent Union of science and high education celebrated 25th anniversary in the union home 17th of January 2015 in Zagreb.
During the last period, the Union has had an important roll in the development of social rights in Croatia; contributing to creation and development of democratic processes.
At the end of 1989, when the totalitarian regime began to collapse, a group of twelve enthusiasts launched an initiative for the creation of independent union that will protect the rights of employees in science and high education institutions. This initiative soon had a good start. The „Independent Union of science and high education“ was officially founded at the begining of 1990.
We are celebrating the 25th birthday of the Union, which is considered a pioneer of trade union organization in Croatia. With numerous notables, representatives of the academic community, union and the wider community, the ceremony was attended also by the Croatian President, Prof. Ph. Dr. Ivo Josipović, who on this occasion said:
"I congratulate you on 25 years of successful labor during which you have contributed to the development of Croatian society, not only to the sphere of union activity, but also through efforts to improve the autonomous position of science, education and policy management which is very important for development of our society. During my presidency, I was speaking with the union intensely, with the aim of contributing to create a better working environment for employees. Sometimes we had different opinions, but we also a lot of times agreed about things. Results of your work are impressive. I wish and hope that you will continue to be important factor of social development."
Except president Ivo Josipović, there were other special gues, so there was the rector of the University, prof. Ph. D.. Damir Boras, Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Prof. Ph. D. Mornar, as well as President of Orah, Ph. D. Mirela Holy and president of the party New Wave, prof. Ph. D. Ljubo Jurčić.
In the struggle for rights, The Union was strongly advocating the increase of the rights of its members and encouraged changes that can enable them to pursue their interests and protect their dignity. As a result of the strike and pressures they have acchived growth of wages and some of the bonuses. Beside that, thanks to the activities of the Union, employees in science and high education system achived their rights such as jubilee awards, gifts for children, charges for transport, longer vacations, recourse and Christmas bonuses. Few of the major efforts and results of their work is organizing lawsuits for unpaid fees, reduction of salaries and allowances for special work conditions, the exercise of the right to protect the labor above the norm and overtime, employment for young researchers which they prepared the status of scholarships, the right to cover tuition for assistants and recruits for postgraduate studies, increasing the coefficient for many categories, obligation for every public competitions for jobs in the system to be publicly announced, housing loans in universities in previous years and other rights guaranteed by collective agreements and laws.
The Union also contributed to the collective resistance of croatian society against outsourcing and concession for croatian highways. In his address to the gathered, the president of the Big council Vilim Ribić said: "Our Union has grown along with our country. At the end of the eighties we left the world that we didn’t want and built the other one filled with hope, new ideas and big delusions. At that time words Croatia, freedom and independence had meaning. In that risky time a tragedy was noticed, but there was no fear. We have been creating the part of the society around us by creating ourselves. Development of the Union went in the opposite way of our state. Within the organization, everything was measured by work, and there was no one who could be beyond our rules. We have homogenized ourselves with incorporated democracy and equal treatments. In 25 years of existence, the Union doesn’t have a single spot in the business. Our members know that their membership is used more accountable than the tax that they are obligated to pay. We will continue with fight for our rights in the way to strengthen the democracy, despite many problems and unfairly relationship between politics and science and education system."
Some of Union activists, founders, the presidents od the Union and pensioners were honored with special awards. During this jubilee year for the Union, they will organize a series of trade union meetings, open debates, theater performances and many other activities in order to develop public awareness of the importance of protecting the interests of employees.