“Starvation wages”: what turned the Chelyabinsk lawyers protest against the system

In the regions of Russia, a wave of strikes by lawyers, who up to six months without pay. Step away from total collapse was the law enforcement system in several regions of the country: lawyers refused to take up the protection of suspects, without which it was impossible to start even dosledstvennaja events. The President of the law chamber of the Chelyabinsk region Ivan KAZAKOV has told “MK”, as the Governor Boris Dubrovsky convinced him to end the strike and at what here the Russian government.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

– Throughout the week, lawyers for the Chelyabinsk region did not come out to perform investigative actions by the interior Ministry. At the end of the week, I was invited to the meeting to the Governor of the Chelyabinsk region, which was attended by representatives of the Investigative Committee, interior Ministry, FSB and Prosecutor’s office. Security forces issued a predictable statement that lawyers have to work regardless of pay them a salary or not. According to the head of the interior Ministry, the Agency has taken some steps to repay debt, but it is a question of Federal, not regional level.

In this regard, the representative of the security forces acknowledged the debt to the lawyer in the amount of 17 million. He also said that in the area allocated 53 million rubles, of which 40-45 million will go on repayment of debts on payment of lawyers. Money must be received before the end of November. This was followed by the request of the Governor to suspend the strike because its continuation will lead to the collapse of the entire system of investigation. Given his promises to us, we decided to go to meet the authorities.

However, I told the Governor that they hear such promises is not the first time, so I’m afraid that this time nothing will fail. If payment will not, we will have to reconvene in late November for the same issue. This needs to end.

The problem is systemic, therefore it should be addressed at the Federal level. The position of the Russian government I totally understand. On the one hand, advocates point to their duty to work on the nomination of bodies of investigation and inquiry, and doesn’t want to pay for it. It is not only unfair, it’s illegal. We have a Constitution which must comply with all, including the Federal government.

The conversation at the meeting the Governor was quite hard. Jokingly, I even offered to level with attorneys and investigators, let them work for free.

We foresaw this conflict at the end of 2016. In particular, I talked about the financial management of the Ministry of interior in the Chelyabinsk region, which are constantly in contact. At the end of 2016, it became known that on the payment of public defenders in 2017 just allocated 40 million rubles. Thus in 2016, the lawyers had to pay more than 70 million rubles, but could not have repaid the debt in $ 15 million from the budget for 2017.

I immediately said that the remaining 25 million will end in may, it happened. But there was no response. Apparently, we were supposed to start a strike in early 2017. I received a correspondence of the regional structures, of which I saw the questions on delays of salaries were addressed only in September, when I started to write letters to the government of Russia, the state Duma, the Minister of the interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev and so on. We also warned that if the two weeks will not solve the problem, we will go on strike… still nobody did anything.

– Unpaid wages occur each year?

– Yes, the problem is systemic. Confronts not only Chelyabinsk region, but also all regions of Russia. In particular, for a strike from November 1 will join Sverdlovsk oblast, plans to join the Perm Krai, the same problem in Karelia… was Going to strike the Tyumen region, but it somehow managed to agree.

– You coordinated this action with their colleagues from other regions?

At meetings in Moscow, by phone and in correspondence we have repeatedly discussed this problem. Of course, I told them about the impending strike, as the longer lawyers for the Chelyabinsk region to endure could not. Absolutely everyone was in agreement with me. Did succeed, I don’t know, but I hope that the Governor gave his word not just.

– If I understand correctly, for a final overcoming of the crisis must not only pay down your current debt, but to lay sufficient funds for the next year?

In November the state Duma will accept the budget has been drawn up for 2018. Whether our problem is considered or not, hard to say. I do not cherish any illusions. Of those letters that I have received from the government and the interior Ministry, it appears that in the country the extremely difficult funding situation, so the issue will be resolved, but how, is unknown. No specifics no. In these circumstances, lawyers have to feed their families, the authorities do not explain.

– How much gets lawyer involved to destination bodies of inquiry and preliminary investigation?

– The salaries are miserable. The fare is about 500 rubles a day. Despite the fact that the statutory fixed rate of indexation of the tariff, this is not done since 2012. Interpreter at the hearing it receives in a day more than a thousand rubles. Is this true?

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