Mukachevo: Ukrainian ombudsperson demands to restore the rights of teachers and medics dismissed for their political views

Ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva directed to President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma the appeal «On violation of the right for labor of the workers of budget establishments of the town of Mukachevo because of political views». This document concerns the dismissal of almost 30 workers from their jobs for the political views: school superintendents, qualified medics, manager of the House of Culture, main architect of the town, his deputy and a number of top officials of the town executive committee.

The Ukrainian ombudsperson informs the President about the complaints received by her from representatives of teachers’ labor collectives and the investigation started after these complaints on the basis of personal check conducted in Mukachevo, adduces the facts of persecutions for political views and direct violation of operating laws by the local power. The groundless dismissals of the workers of budget establishments, reads the document, evidence about the violation of the right for labor, biased and illegal character of the orders. At the same time, the claims to court on the restoration of the abused constitutional rights for labor are not considered, and the court circumlocution goes on.

On the basis of Article 101 of the Constitution of Ukraine, with the aim to regulate the social-political situation in Mukachevo and restore the labor rights of the dismissed, the ombudsperson asked the President «to control this question personally, to give appropriate orders for restoration of the abused rights of the workers of budget establishments and to take measures for prevention of such illegal actions in future».

Several days ago representatives of labor collectives, as well as parents of the pupils of special boarding school for blind children and children with poor eyesight, educational complex «General education school-kindergarten «Garmoniya»» and gymnasia of the town of Mukachevo of the Zakarpatska oblast turned to ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva with the appeal to protect Ya. Zhigan, I. Senko and V. Yakimchuk, the superintendents of these educational establishments, from the illegal dismissal.

During the personal reception the appellants informed the ombudsperson that the administration of the directorate of education and science of the Zakarpatska oblast state administration and the directorate of education, family, youth and sport openly exerted the pressure on the above-mentioned superintendents with purpose to force them to leave their jobs «voluntarily», in spite of the perceptible positive changes that had occurred in these educational establishments under their direction.

Representatives of the local power expressed not a single well-founded complaint against the work of these school superintendents, and the propositions about their dismissal are absent in the conclusions of the temporary commissions created by the authorities for check of these establishments, but the superintendents were dismissed from their posts all the same.

In the opinion of representatives of labor collectives and parents of the pupils of the above-mentioned establishments, such actions of the local power is a continuation of the staff «purge» in budget establishments of the town realized by the directorate of education of the Zakarpatska oblast state administration.

The claimants reckon that these actions are connected with the conduction of the repeated election of the Mukachevo mayor, which was carried out on 18 April 2004. The authors of the appeal believe that the local power resorted to the illegal actions in order to guarantee the victory of their candidate at the election.

Ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva directed the official representation to Vasyl Kremen, the Minister of education and science of Ukraine, with the demand to issue the order about the creation of the commission of the Ministry for checking the facts stated in the above-mentioned appeals to the ombudsperson and to take measures for restoration of the right for labor of superintendents of the educational establishments of Mukachevo. In this document Nina Karpacheva also draws the attention of the Minister to the fact that, by a strange concatenation of circumstances, everybody, who was dismissed or is tried to dismiss now, had been connected with the election of the Mukachevo mayor on 29 June 2003: they worked in the district election commissions. These conclusions were confirmed during the check conducted in Mukachevo by representatives of the Ukrainian ombudsperson.

Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations

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