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Faro district court employees told to work on carnival day-off

carnivalThe union representing court employees has accused court district bosses in Lisbon North and Faro of having ignored the justice minister’s OK that everyone should have a day off for carnival, even though it is not a national holiday.
The union stated that "no one other than the minister of justice is empowered to decide on the service level over the carnival period."
"In this sense, the union considers that the decisions by the coordinating magistrates of the District of Faro and North Lisbon are illegal and, therefore, should not be complied with."
In the Northern District of Lisbon ten judicial officials were on duty to perform their normal duties, while in Faro, there were nine people on duty, not that they could do much more than catch up on some paperwork as the magistrates all had the day off.
The trade union said that in a meeting with the Justice Minister, Francesca Van Dunem, held on January 25, it was agreed that "all public employees should enjoy a day off for Carnival on February 13th."
The ministry said that "no urgent services were needed," despite a backlog of cases which will take years to work through.
For those court employees who decided to disobey the demand that they turn up for work, the union said it would support them if there are any reprisals.
Carlos Almeida, president of the union, said that the fact that magistrates were not on duty, “prevented the regular functioning of the district because the employees can not proceed with court processes on their own.”
"The presiding judges well understood that there was no urgent service to be carried out,” said Almeida, adding that the union formally has requested copies of disciplinary proceedings issued against absent staff.
The Prime Minister, António Costa, said that a day-off "is granted to workers who carry out public functions in the direct administration of the State and in public institutes, on February 13th."
Costa argued that "although the Carnival Tuesday does not appear on the list of national holidays stipulated by law, there is a consolidated tradition of the organisation of parties in Portugal in this period.”


0 #1 dw 2018-02-14 23:00
What is Portuguese for "the law is an ass"?