The bailiffs, who have been on an indefinite strike since January 10 to work in the afternoon, are holding a sit-in today in Lisbon to “show indignation at the non-satisfaction of the claims.
Carlos Almeida, president of the Union of Justice Officials (SOJ) told Lusa that three old claims are at stake and have not yet been implemented by the Ministry of Justice, the first of which relates to the increase in the number of effective, which requires the opening of tickets for the profession.
Although the Minister of Justice, Catarina Sarmento e Castro, has announced a reinforcement of 200 elements, the president of the SOJ says that this number is clearly “insufficient” given the shortage of judicial officers.
According to Carlos Almeida, more than 1,500 judicial officers are needed to fulfill the legal framework, but even this number is below the real needs of the courts. The SOJ estimates that about 2,000 bailiffs are needed.
The second demand that the Ministry of Justice has not yet fulfilled, according to the union leader, is related to the implementation of promotions that have been due for more than three years. The Ministry of Justice has already informed the Ministry of Finance that these promotions are essential for the normal functioning of the courts.
The SOJ’s third claim is related to the demand for the integration of the procedural recovery supplement. The 2020 state budget already determined an amount for this purpose, but the Government did not comply with the budget forecast, and at the time, the then Minister of Justice, Francisca Van Dunem, justified that this failure was due to “a series of vicissitudes”, as reported by the leader of the SOJ.
Carlos Almeida assured Lusa that the union will only withdraw the notice of indefinite strike, every afternoon from 13:30 to 24:00, if the demands are met by the Government.
Meanwhile, today between 12:30 and 1pm near the local Petty Crime Court of Lisbon, in the Campus of Justice, there will be a concentration of bailiffs, who will publicly express “indignation” over their work situation and “provide information on the dozens of defendants / detainees that every day are not heard and have to return to the `cabinet'”, due to the ongoing strike.
According to the SOJ, the strike by bailiffs, which has taken place every afternoon since January 10, has already led to the postponement of thousands of proceedings, particularly with “detained/imprisoned citizens who end up seeing their detention periods dragged to the maximum legal limits or, as has also occurred, released immediately, by order, without being heard, as has already occurred in some courts.
The SOJ also announced a gathering on Thursday near the Palace of Justice in Leiria, starting at 1:30pm.