Public employees stage protest at PM's office

The workers got angry this year after the government hinted their wages could be frozen again in 2022. Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Several hundred people employed in state agencies and institutions staged a protest in front of the Polish prime minister's office on Saturday, demanding higher wages amid long-lasting problems with pay rises in the sector.

Public employees' wages were first frozen in 2010 after the global financial crisis, and this practice has been repeated a couple of times since then.

The workers got angry this year after the government hinted their wages could be frozen again in 2022. Poland's record-high inflation rate of close to 6 percent has also added to their frustration.

The protesters marched from the Finance Ministry to the PM's office in groups of up to 150 people, in compliance with the current coronavirus restrictions.

They demand a 12-percent pay rise and complain their sector was not covered by government aid during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're not moving forward," said Edyta Odyjas, one of the protest leaders. "We want a pay rise," she added.

The protest was attended by low and mid-rank employees of courts, prosecutor and tax offices, museums, police, the prison service, province offices and civil servants at the Defence Ministry.