• Mon. Oct 25th, 2021

Vatican, salary cut: employee petition to the Pope

Byeditorial

May 19, 2021

Petition to Pope Francis after the cuts in the salaries of Vatican employees. Declaring “bitterness” for the modalities of the provision, the workers of the Holy See ask Bergoglio to meet one of their delegations, not without having first highlighted “the enormous criticalities that characterize the entire system and that induce him to waste a lot of money” and the need for a “rigid wage classification of lay managers within precise limits, consistent with the spirit of service and sacrifice to which one always appeals by turning to us employees”. “What are we paying for, Your Holiness? For the coffers of the Pence intended for the poor, to increase the salaries of lay leaders or for the very expensive external consultants they regularly use?”, Is the dramatic question posed by the Vatican employees, who aim at the finger against the “exceptional advantages” on which, according to them, lay managers can count: “They occupy splendid apartments in Apsa, located in the most prestigious areas of Rome, without paying any rent to the Administration in question (a calculation of lost income from rents for properties occupied by ‘privilege’) and without taking on any restructuring costs, unlike us employees who pay everything – reads the petition – In addition to the free rent we would like to mention machines for private use , discounts on purchases, secretaries dedicated to them, reimbursements of various kinds of expenses “.” The real problem is that the Vatican is based on a system of privileges already that are deleterious both at an economic and reputational level “, the document underlines, highlighting how, for example, the“ out of parameter ”contracts of lay managers” never cease to arouse amazement, ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 up to 25,000 euros per month. Too much, for a system like ours, which should be based on the spirit of ‘service to the Church’ “.” In our opinion, it would be necessary to investigate and eventually reform – it is emphasized – What is more serious, in reference to the Motu Precisely, it is the exclusion of the more affluent categories from the reduction of salaries despite the reference, within the apostolic letter, to criteria of ‘proportionality and progressiveness’. Here is the full text of the petition of Vatican employees

“Your Holiness, we would like to turn to your kind attention to express regret and profound discouragement for the provisions of the Motu Proprio of March 24, the text of which was proposed to you by the Superiors of the Secretariat for the Economy. cover, at least partially, the budget deficit of the Holy See through the introduction of the cut in the salaries of Cardinals, ecclesiastics, religious, lay Superiors (only some categories and on the basic quota) as well as the suspension of the two-year seniority of employees, An attentive reader cannot escape the inconsistencies that still remain in the Vatican and that make this measure too unbalanced to the detriment of honest workers. First of all, the “sustainable future” is a goal that is difficult to reach immediately. Wanting to do so in the short term cannot that involve too invasive intervention on workers’ rights, depriving them of the benefits mentioned already to a limited extent, especially following the Office No. 004445 GN of the Secretary of State dated 13 February 2014. The freezing of hiring (with inevitable overload of employees already in service), the suspension of promotions and functional level passes (despite the increased work responsibilities), the non-payment of overtime hours, the free recovery of the hours compulsorily spent at home during the lockdown period with the impossibility of working in smart-working, and now the cut of the two-year seniority increments, only aggravate the working conditions of Vatican employees. We cannot fail, Your Holiness, to mention the concept of “just reward” which is spoken of in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 20, 1-16) or “the due reward” which is referred to in Jer 22:13 or Jas. 5.4. How much will we still have to sacrifice to pay a budget deficit that certainly does not derive from our bad deed? “.” The seniority shots should compensate for everything that the Vatican, compared to private companies, does not contemplate (productivity bonuses, promotions based on the objectives achieved , meritocratic system of selection and professional growth, etc.). We believe that the current context does not lend itself to welcoming such radical interventions, at least as long as far-sighted and insightful changes are not implemented, capable of transforming the structure in depth. With great sadness we must note that many of the reform proposals put forward by the Council for the Economy regarding Human Resources have not been seriously considered.We think we are in line with Your Holiness in appealing to the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church, including the respect for the dignity of the individual and the promotion of a just society, to request the suspension of some of these restrictive measures on personnel, especially the reintegration of two-year periods with retroactive effect. Moreover, one cannot ignore the economic difficulties that today’s families are called to face due to the pandemic. Continuing in this direction, Your Holiness, the system will become more and more privative, anti-meritocratic and disincentive. According to the most elementary theories of work psychology, these strategies not only do not pay off in the long run, in terms of motivation, personal satisfaction and production, but they are a boomerang in terms of performance “.” In particular, the criticalities that emerge from our system are: 1. Unequal treatment Not all Bodies seem to comply with the provisions expressed in the aforementioned circular of the Cardinal Secretary of State of 13 February 2014. Many departments have continued to hire staff, to grant functional levels and to pay overtime. Others, on the other hand, have completely blocked the growth of personnel, in all respects, even keeping them in the state in which they were hired several years earlier. Within the same body, however, there are evident inequalities of treatment towards employees who are no longer tolerable. 2 Privileges to be abolished The real problem is that the Vatican is based on a system of privileges that are deleterious both economically and economically. reputational. A separate chapter deserves the analysis of the treatment from which lay managers seem to benefit, whose alleged “out of par” contracts never cease to arouse amazement, ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 up to 25,000 euros per month. Too much for a system like ours, which should be based on the spirit of “service to the Church”. In our opinion, it would be necessary to investigate the matter and possibly reform. What is more serious, with reference to the Motu Proprio, is the exclusion of the more affluent categories from the reduction of salaries despite the reference, within the apostolic letter, to criteria of “proportionality and progressiveness”. In fact, levels C2 and C3 of lay managers have not been included. Furthermore, some of them are framed as art. 11, therefore excluded. Precisely because they are beneficiaries of decidedly onerous contracts for the Vatican State, they too should be affected by the new provisions, as they operate in Vatican territory at this very unhappy historical moment. Furthermore, levels C and C1 are only concerned with regard to the basic share of their salaries. So, for example, if a manager earns 10,000 euros a month and is classified at level C1, the reduction in his salary will be applied not to the entire sum, but only to the approximately 3200 euros which represent the base pay. Doing some quick calculations in percentage terms, you can’t see any proportionality. “” What are we paying for, Your Holiness? For the coffers of the Pigeon for the poor, to increase the salaries of lay leaders or for the very expensive external consultants that they regularly use? Moreover, these managers can count on a number of exceptional advantages. In the first place, they occupy splendid APSA apartments, located in the most prestigious areas of Rome, without paying any rent to the Administration in question (a calculation of lost rental income for properties occupied by “privilege” could be made) and without taking on any restructuring costs, unlike us employees who pay for everything. In addition to the free rental, we would like to mention cars for private use, discounts on purchases, secretaries dedicated to them, reimbursements of various kinds of expenses. decided to reach such a mortifying goal for the employees, without questioning them in any way and allowing them a cross-examination. Sacrificing oneself for a common good is fine, provided that it is done in proportion to the economic possibilities of the individual and after having solved the enormous criticalities that characterize the entire system and that cause him to waste a lot of money “. 4. Conclusions In reiterating the need to create a more encouraging and less punitive system for Vatican employees, which passes through a serious reflection on Human Resources and the implementation of a structural reform, we are asking, Your Holiness, the reintroduction of the two-year periods in a short time with retroactive and consequent effect sterilization of the effects on retirement as well as a rigid wage classification of lay managers within very specific limits, consistent with the spirit of service and sacrifice to which we always appeal by turning to us employees. small delegation, we take advantage of the circumstance to confirm ourselves with profon senses from estimate “.

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