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40 Years of Violation of (Human) Rights at the BBRZ – No Reason to Celebrate

Submitted by Aktive Arbeits… on Tue, 10.05.2016 - 22:20

Note: ‘BBRZ’ stands for German “Berufs- und Bildungsrehabilitationszentrum” and is a centre for professional and ecuational rehabilitation.

‘Aktive Arbeitslose’ demand an end to the systematic violations of rights and want genuine voluntariness for rehabilitation-like measures

Yesterday the BBRZ celebrated itself as the greatest provider of compulsive measures of the PES for the care of people with health restrictions. There is one thing that this self-publicity which is financed by money from the employees taken from the unemployment insurance keeps quite silent about: The business basis of the BBRZ group that belongs to the Austrian Federation of Labour Unions and the Workers’ and Employees’ Professional Association consists in systematically infringing the rights of the unemployed by the PES by threatening with the deprivation of the livelihood by means of benefit sanctions.

Several breaches of the law despite Verdicts by the Supreme Court

Although there are unambiguous verdicts by the Administrative Court that rehabilitation measures, medical examinations and clearings as well as the ascertainment and communication of delicate health data of unemployed people must not be forced, this still happens as ever more or less directly at all locations of the BBRZ.

In the verdict referring to a compulsory measure of the PES at the ‘bfi’ (Institute for Professional Promotion) in Lower Austria (Administrative Court, object reference 2013/08/0280) the Administrative Court declared several procedures unlawful and claimed that the following basic principles of law are complied with:

  • Reintegration measures of the PES contribute to “the relevant necessary improvement of knowledge and qualification of the unemployed person in the concrete case” which is why the communication of health data – which are particularly protected as delicate data according to the Data Protection Act – is not required.

  • Educational institutes operating on behalf of the PES are therefore not allowed to force declarations of consent to ascertaining health data at general practitioners etc. and to communicating health data to the PES.

  • Even a data service contract with the educational institute does not imply according to the Data Protection Act that the ascertainment of delicate data like health data is authorized, neither does it imply that it is allowed to ask for the unemployed person’s consent to it.

  • It is not allowed to impose measures of testing knowledge and skills as well as measures of determining a possible “problematic situation” by means of sanctions (benefit sanctions), which is why psychological tests etc. may not be imposed, either.

  • Medical examinations must not be part of a measure of the PES and are only allowed to be made for the purpose of determining the ability to work by the health centre of the PVA (Pensionsversicherungsanstalt = Institution for Pension Insurance) which has been determined as the standardized institute of assessment by the legislator.

Measures of the PES do not replace missing workplaces of gainful employment!

But still, it is these violations of rights that may be committed by the BBRZ group in the case of thousands of people as ever. Psychological tests as well as medical clearings are still carried out in these “rehabilitation coachings”.

Further contents of the courses like tests and extra tuition in maths are experienced as futile at the end of the day. The promised clarification of perspective turns out as a pure paper tiger because the real chances of finding a regular gainful employment afterwards hardly increase, for companies that give people in a pure health state a chance are increasingly rare. What is more, the promised educations often turn out as a lure offer, for the BBRZ first and foremost tries to get rid of its own courses or to “find jobs for the people” in dubious low-wage projects at the end of the line which is the expensive “second labour market”.

The legal profession of the common people doesn’t pay attention, the media keep silent and the political quagmire continues to grow

The inactivity of the legal profession of the common people remains a scandal on account of the numerous breaches of the law. Complaints by people affected simply count for very little and are considered unjustified. This has got something to do with the fact that the people’s lawyer Günther Kräuter installed by the Austrian Social Party (SPÖ) does not want to hurt his own party people that much.

The workers’ and employees’ professional association and the Austrian Federation of Labour Unions – that is to say, the Austria Social Party (SPÖ) – send their representatives to all committees of the PES and are at the same time by way of the BBRZ group, the ‘bfi’ (Institute of Professional Promotion) and the ‘baf’ the biggest provider of compulsory measures of the PES in Austria. This is why the workers’ and employees’ professional association and the Austrian Federation of Labour Unions accordingly don’t have any ambitions of looking into the mismanagement.

Even the media hardly report about it and if they do, then they are put under pressure. The daily newspaper “Salzburger Nachrichten” had its critical report about the BBRZ Salzburg “Methods like at the KGB” from 17th March 2014 only for a short time on the website and two days afterwards it published a cheering report about the same BBRZ. Employees of independent radio stations also report about problems with the BBRZ: whereas Radio Orange in Vienna gave in, the independent radio station in the Tyrol published the article …_4.

On the basis of increasing unemployment and the increasing pathologization of unemployed people the number of problems with the BBRZ and the like is expected to rise, for they will without any inhibition continue to make their deal with the unemployed who are deprived of their rights. And in case that there should be too much resistance, the Austria Social Party (SPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) will change the laws in favour of the “course industry” as was the case in 2007 with the amendment to the Unemployment Insurance Act.

This is just terrible in a so-called democracy and it’s no reason to celebrate!

Together against the lawbreakers!

‘Aktive Arbeitslose Austria’ therefore publish as a supplement to the first-aid leaflet “Our Rights at the Public Employment Service (PES)” the first information leaflet for people affected by the BBRZ and call upon unemployed people who get assigned to inform themselves in time, to record the irregularities and injustices and to collectively fight against the severe structural violence at the BBRZ!

The necessity of an independent and efficient legal and social profession for the unemployed including the self-organizations of affected people is for this reason more urgent than ever!
 

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