Decisions of the Council for Preventing and Eliminating Discrimination and Ensuring Equality

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At the beginning of November 2019, an open letter was published in the local press, through which a young doctor communicates that he is forbidden to practice the profession of surgeon. When he lost all hope that he could solve the situation from the inside, he addressed the press and the relevant bodies. Three days after revealing the harmful practices of Balti clinical hospital, the young doctor was suspended from workplace, disciplinary investigated and severely reprimanded.

After the case became known in the press, a group of people from Balti mobilized to support the doctor. He lodged a complaint with the Council on the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality.

On 12.11.2019, his individual employment contract was suspended during the internal investigation. As a result, on November 29, 2019, he was disciplined with severe reprimand.

Following the examination of the case, on 20 March 2020, the Council issued a decision, deciding that the facts examined constituted harassment on grounds of age and opinion. (http://egalitate.md/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Decizie_constatare_248_2019.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1eWtT_IEOlc4R101clnqrrAqD4QwyddEQksmtLC4FWmggM8JJ6vS5GOEc).

The Council recommends the director of the Bălți Clinical Hospital and the head of the Emergency Reception Unit (UPU) to stop their offensive behavior towards the petitioner and to adopt a professional behavior of guiding and supporting the young specialist, sharing their experience.

However, the hospital administration did not stop its discriminatory attitude, continuing to intimidate the young specialist. The doctor was forced to file a lawsuit against Bălți Clinical Hospital regarding the cancellation of the sanctioning order, the return of the salary during the temporary suspension of the employment contract, the reinstatement in the position of surgeon within the Bălți Clinical Hospital, the collection of moral and material compensation and court costs.

By the decision of February 24, 2021 (https://jbl.instante.justice.md/ro/pigd_integration/pdf/70d39595-0903-436f-90f1-450abc50bed4, https://jbl.instante.justice.md/ro/pigd_integration/pdf/a90777a8-8559-4d2d-90f9-969501fb8a29),

the applicant’s action was upheld in part. The young specialist challenged the decision, and his case is currently before the Court of Appeal.

 Since the pandemic, medical workers have been exposed to Covid-19 infection, not being equipped with the necessary protective materials, because “they were insufficient.”

 Dissatisfied with the lack of action on the part of the tradeunion “Health” he belonged to, a group of medical workers from the Balti Clinical Hospital decided to create an alternative tradeunion, “Support”. Because they wanted to leave the “Health” tradeunion, Several employees in the medical system were intimidated by the hospital administration – they received sanctions, harsh reprimands and service investigations are opened against them.

For this reason, the members of the “Support” trade union filed a complaint with the Council for the Prevention of Discrimination, the object of the complaint being discrimination in exercising the right to association on the basis of trade union membership. The petitioner states that there is a different behavioral attitude on the part of the administration towards the chairman of the previously registered trade union and the chairman of the newly registered trade union.

By decision of December 1, 2020 (http://egalitate.md/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Decizie_constatare_216_-2020_expediat.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0NnnrTYpLw46SYu513qoyeWdky5tAZr6Gjyja4cS0x0PyfRJtKRr3Dwbg), it was decided that the facts found represent direct discrimination on the basis of trade union membership in the exercise of the right to association. In order to restore the petitioner’s rights, the Council recommends that the administration not create unjustified impediments, which would jeopardize the proper functioning of the trade union organization it leads.

Within half a year after the adoption of the decision cited above, the members of the “Support” trade union continue to encounter various difficulties in the communication process with the Bălți Clinical Hospital administration. Despite numerous attempts by the management of trade union “Support” to establish a meeting with complaints, to discuss the problems faced by the workers of the institution affiliated to the trade union organization, the meeting did not take place.

By the decision of June 23, 2021 (http://egalitate.md/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Decizie_constatare_68_-2021-1.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1TwUJEiK_DG-T-YmPIRJdwbXe4l9JTr8NQvtXyJkW7gXGJyc6loSR0vaM) the Commission decides that the facts found represent direct discrimination on the basis of trade union membership, the Council will also draw up a report on the finding of contravention in terms of non-compliance with the recommendations given by the Council by decision of 01.12.2020 issued on case no. 216/2020. Despite all the decisions taken by the Council for the prevention and elimination of discrimination and ensuring equality, the administration of Bălți Clinical Hospital remains indifferent to the requests expressed by the new trade union. Obviously differentiated treatment that applies to the two unions, affects the interests of workers who have chosen to join the union “Support”, or their interests may not be properly promoted due to union membership.

This analytical material was developed within the project “Medical system fro Balti and Drochia are in the sights of civil society”, funded by the European Union and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation under the grant program “Development of local civil society in the Republic of Moldova”.

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