19:28 / 05.11.2021.

Author: Katja Miličić

Unions and opposition MPs react to new Covid measures

Covid task force announces digital certificate requirement for public sector workers

Covid task force announces digital certificate requirement for public sector workers

Foto: Tomislav Miletic / PIXSELL

Government employees, meaning everyone who is on the public payroll, will be required to have a Covid certificate as of November 15. Reacting to the news, many interest groups and politicians have raised questions and potential problems.

Teachers unions say the requirement is unfair. Ana Tuškan from the Union of Croatian Teachers asks if it makes sense to require school employees to have the certificate when there is no such requirement for students.

"We've had a problem from the start with who is making the decisions and who has the authority to do so. How effective and rational is it to require these certificates, particularly, when they apply only to teachers and not students? At the same time, these restrictions do not apply at all to cafes and shopping centers," Tuškan said.

Union federation leader Mladen Novosel, from the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Croatia, says such a measure should not be applied selectively but across all sectors, if at all. He also rejects the idea that the cost of testing would have to fall on the worker.

"After all, there still isn't a legal foundation for making any of this mandatory," Novosel said.

The new rules would also apply to thousands of people employed by the HZZO, the government health care insurer, whose offices are frequented by large numbers of people each day. The head of the agency, Lucijan Vukelić, says the institution supports the measure and is ready to apply it.

Opposition law makers see many issues with the measures. Independent MP Marija Selak Raspudić says the requirement could result in a massive sick-out that would interrupt public services.

"When it comes to state and public institutions, we have to keep in mind that it could spark a massive sick-leave trend," said Selak Raspudić.

SDP MP Domagoj Hajduković described the new measures as toothless.

"Unfortunately, these are just more measures that are weak and inconsistent," Hajduković said.

Sandra Benčić from the We Can! said her party supported the measures and wanted the the restrictions to go even further.

"We welcome the Covid certificate requirement. We believe that this should have been applied earlier and not only in state and public institutions but at all public venues, cafes, restaurants and shopping centers," Benčić said.

Officials did say the application of the requirement could be broadened if the situation continues to deteriorate over the next ten days.

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