Prison officers from the prison and remand centre in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv ateged a protest in the morning on 23rd of November in demand of higher wages and better working conditions. They were backed by a statement from their colleagues from the Court Guard unit, and several Ministry of Interior officers who were off duty and joined the protest.
Currently, the starting salary of young prison gurads with no work experience is BGN 480. Another issue is the increase in the length of service for pension from 20 to 27 years and in the retirement age, which is 55.
Prison officers from Lovech, Belene and Boychinovtsi also protest today.
Eftim Eftimov, Deputy Chair of the Trade Union at Plovdiv Prison explains that it is important to increase the number of supervising guards as currently their number is insufficient. There are no candidates for the job because the wage is low. He added that the demand at least 20% increase. Another demand is to equalise the remunerations with the size of the remuneration of their colleagues from the Ministry of the Interior, “as we also work under the law of the Ministry of Interior”, he added. Otehr demands include improvement of the working conditions and especially the number of prison guards because currently one gurd supervises about 100-102 people, Eftimov said.
Yuri Kornov, Deputy Chair of the Trade Union of the Prisoners in Plovdiv said they would protest until the demands were met. He added they protest in order to be heard. “If we are not heard, we will go to Sofia to protest outside the Ministry, if necessary,” he added.