UoM should define clear rules for all, and not to open space for discrimination

University of Montenegro
The Rectorate
Professor Dr. Predrag Miranović, rector

18 June 2014, Podgorica

Subject: The Initiative for adoption of the Rulebook on the criteria and conditions according to which employees of the University of Montenegro (UoM) may be hired in capacity of visiting lecturers, consultants and perform additional work

Dear Mr. Miranović,

According to your order from 16 June 2014 No. 01-967 and No. 967/1 that you sent to all deans and directors of faculty units of UoM and by which you prohibit engagement of staff of UoM at private education institutions in Montenegro, another employer in Montenegro and abroad, the Centre for Civic Education (CCE) submits:

The Initiative for adoption of the Rulebook on criteria and conditions according to which employees of the UoM may be hired in capacity of visiting lecturers, consultants and perform additional work

CCE earlier called upon the management of UoM to investigate and sanction the cases of double employment of academic staff at UoM. Concerning that matter, CCE submitted the evidence for specific professors who are double full-time employed on the basis of the employment contract at two different places in the same country or in other country – which is physically and legally impossible. CCE, also, indicated the financial damage for the budget of UoM, caused by this situation for which the responsibility of the management of UoM or its organizational units has not yet been determined. Until today, UoM did not notify either CCE or Montenegrin public of what has been done in order to resolve these cases of a clear violation of the law. However, the order which arose from these issues is made, but instead of eliminating them and defying precise and transparent criteria and conditions according to which staff at UCG may have other potential engagements, it opens up a new room for arbitrary decisions, manipulations and discrimination.

Your order, addressed to all deans and directors, would have legal power and meaning if it referred solely and exclusively to these cases, or cases which you defined as “the question of engagement of employess of the UoM at private education institutions in Montenegro”. Those examples have justification in the sense of preventing the conflict of interest, protection of interests of UoM from competition, as well as taking care of legality of labor status of employees.

However, since your additional explanation refers to the “prohibition of competition of employees’ for any kind of work on his/her own behalf and for his/her own account, as well as in the name of and on the account of other legal or natural person, from description of activities of University of Montenegro, i.e. its organizational units, without the consent of University of Montenegro”, this order threatens to become the way of blackmailing of academic staff of UoM, especially of those employees who were not perceived as suitable or simply they did not have any closer communication with management of UoM.

Therefore, CCE assumes that you are required to determine by this Rulebook clear criteria by which UoM employee, with your consent, may be a guest lecturer, consultant or perform any other kind of additional work, which is already allowed in line with the Article 58 of the Labor Law.

CCE submits this initiative led by the fact that you had to divide two issues when you have sent this order:
1. existence of double full-time employment with two employers on the basis of employment contract in Montenegro or abroad in which case, your order is justified;
2. performing additional work with other employer in accordance with the Labor Law, Article 58 – in which case, your order is not justified, because it violates the Labor Law and discriminates UoM employees compared to all other employees to whom the Labor Law applies.

In relation to the above mentioned, CCE expects you to urgently reconsider this Initiative and establish required criteria, because this kind of your order is subject to legal review and it leaves an unacceptably wide space for manipulation, mobbing and discrimination of the open-minded people at UoM.

Snežana Kaluđerović, Programme Coordinator