I.C.S.P.R Issue legal report titled: (Cutting salaries policy… between individual decisions and legitimacy principle)
International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (I.C.S.P.R) issued on Monday 20 March 2017, a legal report titled (Cutting salaries policy… between individual decisions and legitimacy principle), publishing this report on behalf of the International Commission to discuss the Palestinian official policies and examine its compatibility with the Palestinian legislation, and its compatibility with the principles enshrined in International Law, in particular with the International Human Rights Conventions that Palestine signed it.
The report based on descriptive analytical approach, which discussed cutting salaries policy from a constitutional and legal perspective, where it includes interviews with employee who their salaries were cut, relevant literature review, scientific research reports and documentary reports.
This report assumes great importance, as being dealt with a range of legal and practical problems, through searching the legal framework governing the public service in Palestine, examining how to organize the Palestinian legislature provisions about salaries , and the legitimacy of the policy of cutting salaries, regarded as one of the highlights of the Palestinian internal division results in 2007 on civil service, which resulted in this new unusual political experiment.
This policy came as a result of the division and it’s still going on as of the date of this report, it encountered opposition from parties and legal institutions, although the Cabinet issued a ministerial decision immediately after the political division, demanded the civilian and military employees on Gaza Strip not to work with Hamas Government.
This was one of the main reasons that prompted International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights for issuing this report, the scarcity of contemporary legal studies which explaining recent developments in the legal system of salaries, and the judicial protection in case of the internal division.
The report concluded, for a set of conclusions and recommendations, chiefly that cutting salaries policy considered a violation of their rights, especially that its accompanied by stopping the bonuses and allowances, as well as cancelling personnel contracts of permanent unemployed as deprivation of the right to hold public office, the conclusions and recommendations as follows:
- the Palestinian law must taking into account of closed civil service rules, which provides stability and economic security for the employee and his family, as Palestinian law emphasized that organizational relationship of employee with authority is governed by legislation and regulations, and banned acting with employees in a way which contrary to law, as the right of salary is one of the fundamental human rights, which provided adequate protection by Palestinian law.
- Political division caused a state of imbalance and inequality between employees in the public service in West Bank and Gaza Strip, where a series of decisions affected the employee in Gaza Strip, including stopping paying salaries, deducted bonuses and transport allowance and social allowances allocated for him and his family, the nature of the work, the denial of promotions, exclusion of structures in the various ministries, and exception Gaza employee from recruitment advertisement.
- President of the National Authority and the Government started of cutting salaries policy of Gaza Strip employees, since the division due to political reasons, both military and civilians who worked with Gaza government, and followers of Mohamed Dahlan.
- There is no Palestinian legislation called cutting salaries as it has no legal definition, it was not mentioned in the general definitions of the law nor in disciplinary sanctions.
- The political division has weaken of the role of political parties, labor unions, human rights institutions and disable the role of the Legislative Council and the independence of the judiciary, have facilitated on the President and the Government to continue the policy of cutting salaries and marginalization employee of Gaza of the rights enshrined in the basic law and the civil service law.
- The decision of cutting salaries is illegal due to the following considerations: –
- The decision violates the principle of equality, justice, and right of political participation enshrined by the basic law.
- The absence of clearly formulated charges or criminal offence to cut salaries.
- The penalty of cutting salaries is not prescribed by law, as its opposed to the provisions of the Basic Law: there is no crime or punishment except as defined by law.
- Lack of competence of the President to cut salaries.
- Issuance the decisions to halt the salary without being brought before an investigation Commission or competent court.
- Lack of the administrative decision in terms of generality, abstraction, causation, and taking into account the public interest.
- Employees of Gaza Strip are the most affected by cutting salaries policy suspend bonuses, allowances, promotions and appointments.
- To stop the violations of public employees’ rights and to return their salaries and the rest of their rights with retroactive effect, and ensure respect for the basic law, service in the security forces, and Civil Service Law. In addition to giving priority to address these violations and especially that, this procedure and its effects exceed the employee himself to his family or even some members of his family.
- Recourse to the administrative courts to challenge the illegality of the decision and to accountability the officials in order to prevent linking people lives by any arbitrary actions because of the political conflict.
- Restore the national unity and the reconstruction of the Palestinian political system on the basis of partnership and the rule of law to halt of the violation of rights and freedoms because of the uniqueness of the Executive authority over the judicial and legislative authorities.
- Rebuild the union of workers in the public service, relying on a democratic basis, and activating their role in defending the rights of employees, in addition to building a union for employee who their salaries were cut; in order to unit their voice and defend their interests.
- Organize advocacy and lobbying campaign at local and international levels, in order to stop cutting salaries policy and constant pressure to return their salaries.
- Organize a national conference about the illegality and seriousness of cutting salaries and dismissal from public positions due to political ground
- submitting memorandums to Donor States and relevant United Nations committees and bodies, that these violations contradict the International Human Rights Standards which signed by the State of Palestine to ensure good offices for the return of the employee salaries that were cut.