After the Municipal Assembly of Vlasenica, based on the proposal of Mayor Miroslav Kraljević, abolished the Firefighting Unit in this area earlier this year and classified the employees as unassigned, they received termination notices at the beginning of the week. It appears that the firefighting activities will be handed over to the municipal company.
From the time they existed – Firefighters of Vlasenica with colleagues from the Firefighters Association of Republika Srpska.
Former firefighter Siniša Purtić received a termination notice on June 12th with a notice period of 75 days. The decision also states that he is entitled to a severance payment of 1,500 marks. This followed four months of being in an unassigned status.
As previously reported by Direkt, the Municipal Assembly of Vlasenica decided to abolish the Firefighting Unit in this area at the end of last year. During the transitional period until the establishment of the Volunteer Firefighting Society (DVD), it was stated that Vlasenica would be protected from fires by the Firefighting Unit from Milići.
It seems that the plans for the DVD have been abandoned, and the responsibility for protection will be entrusted to the Public Utility Company (JKP) in Vlasenica.
At the last session of the Municipal Assembly, the statute of this company was amended.
“We had three agenda amendments related to the amendment of the decision and statute of JKP Vlasenica, and the expansion of its activities”, said the President of the Municipal Assembly, Goran Đurić. “The company has ambitions to engage in additional activities, and we have adopted the decisions and proposals of their Supervisory Board today, hoping that this company will operate successfully in the coming period, just like in the previous year”, Đurić stated for Vlasenica 24 portal.
Siniša Purtić claims that this is merely a formal procedure since the decisions regarding this matter were made at the beginning of April when a department was established within JKP, which was supposed to be responsible for fire protection.
“They have already hired three colleagues who did not file complaints and five new employees, but they do not meet the requirements for this job. The Fire Protection Law regulates the way professional fire brigades and volunteer fire departments are formed. However, in Vlasenica, they disregard the law and institutional opinions. Now they are retroactively amending the statute to adapt it to what has already been done”, says Siniša Purtić to Direkt, adding that, in his opinion, the choice of the company is logical because Aleksandar Kraljević, the nephew of the current head, is at the helm of JKP Vlasenica.
“We are interested in what the District Commercial Court will say about this since JKP is engaged in service activities. I doubt that expanding the activities, in this case, can be in accordance with the law”, says Purtić.
Meanwhile, legal proceedings are ongoing. Firefighters filed criminal complaints against the head of the municipality at the beginning of the year, and now they will also sue him for the dismissals they received solely because they insisted on respecting the rights defined in the Collective Agreement.
“This is an obvious continuation of intimidation against firefighters in Republika Srpska, committed by certain individuals who, contrary to the Law and Collective Agreement, want to determine who are eligible and ineligible workers and deprive them of all legal rights. The behaviour of the head and other individuals in the Municipality of Vlasenica, who abolished the Fire Brigade, leaving all citizens of the municipality without fire protection, is particularly dangerous”, said Din Tešić, who represents firefighters from Trebinje and Vlasenica pro bono, in mid-January, speaking to Direkt.
Vlasenica, along with Trebinje, is the only local community where firefighters protested against the refusal to implement the Special Collective Agreement that equalizes salaries in this field throughout Republika Srpska. The decision was justified by a lack of funds and an excessive burden on the budget.