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The Protector of Citizens has requested the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development to remove the criteria of employee's property status and the number of children from main criteria for selecting the employees whose work is no longer needed in primary and secondary schools because these do not contribute to the quality of education of children, and to apply them only as complementary ones.

With a view to improving the protection of human freedoms and rights, the Protector of Citizens, reviewed on his own initiative the criteria for selecting employees whose work is no longer needed, specified by Article 34 of the Special Collective Agreement for employees in primary and secondary schools and students’ dormitories.

In the Opinion, the Protector of Citizens states that it is mandatory for the competent ministry to table to the Government of the Republic of Serbia the amendment to Special Collective Agreement for employees in primary and secondary schools and students’ dormitories in Article 34, paragraph 1, item 5 and item 7, so that these criteria are not the basis for scoring employees, but a supplement only.

The Protector of Citizens emphasizes that the quality and improvement of education should not depend equally on the criteria associated with the aspect of education and from the criteria whether the employee has children and what his/her property status is, which is the case now because, according to Article 34, in addition to the criteria – time spent in employment, education, competitions, pedagogical contribution to work and health condition, the criteria of property status and the number of children of preschool age, i.e. children in regular schooling up to 26 years of age, score equally.

In this situation, an employee who has three or more children (5 points) earns more points than an employee whose student won first place in a regional competition (4 points) or an employee who took part in developing textbook (4 points). Also, in this way, employees who exercise their freedom to make decisions on having children, prescribed by the Constitution, or cannot have children for medically indicated reasons, may be discriminated against in relation to other categories of employees, the Protector of Citizens believes.

The Protector of Citizens considers that the criterion - the number of children that an employee has, apart from its non-compliance with positive regulations, and criterion - property status, are not justified or conclusive for determining the employee whose work is no longer needed and that they must be linked primarily to the role that educational institutions play, especially in the case of identifying employees whose work is no longer needed.

The Protector of Citizens emphasizes that the criteria of property status and number of children should be applied only as a supplement, i.e. only when it is not possible to determine the employees whose work is no longer needed on the grounds of other criteria.