Blaming Srpska Lista, a group of Leposavić residents claim that they have not received their salaries

leposavić opština
Ilustracija/FOTO: KoSSev

Eight residents of Leposavic, who left Kosovo institutions in November last year and were transferred to the Serbian system, claim that they did not receive their salaries in March. Among them is a single mother, who claimed that her social welfare assistance was terminated. For that, they lay blame on Srpska Lista and the president of the Leposavic municipality PO. They believe that their salaries have been withheld from them because they are opponents of that party. We have been unable to obtain a statement from local officials, despite Mayor Zoran Todic’s promise to provide one.

„Anyone who doesn’t think like Srpska Lista and its leadership will have a problem,“ said one local resident Leposavić for KoSSev, one of the eight who claim that they did not receive a salary for the month of March.

She was previous employed (on the Kosovo pay roll) at a pre-school in Lesak, after which she was assigned a position at the kindergarten in Sočanica, within the Serbian system.

„In November 2022, at the invitation of our country, Serbia, we all resigned from our Kosovo jobs and were transferred to Serbian institutions. The Republic of Serbia started paying us our salaries. We received that salary until now, when all our other colleagues were paid, except for the eight of us“.

She claimed that they did not receive any explanation as to way they haven’t been paid: „Nevertheless, I went to work on Friday. Nobody told me anything.” She further pointed out that ‘there are also single mothers among us.’

This woman claims that Srpska Lista bears sole responsibility for this situation.

She further claimed that this happened because they or their family members are sympathizers of or are on the pre-election list of the opposition party, the Party of Kosovo Serb.

This party is registered to take part in upcoming local elections in the four northern municipalities, scheduled for the 23rd of April.

These elections were scheduled after the withdrawal of Serbs from Kosovan institutions last November. Aleksandar Jablanović is the mayoral candidate of the Party of Kosovo Serbs in Leposavić, joined by twenty municipal assembly candidates on the party’s slate.

„There are some of us who won’t play the game” said I.I., who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity.

„They don’t care what we take, nor what we ask for, but for them to cancel our salaries – that beggars belief. That doesn’t even happen in North Korea,“ she said.

She speaks with pessimism on the current situation in her municipality, for which she blames Srpska Lista.

According to her, young people are moving out en masse.

In the future she „will be forced“ to appeal to institutions in Pristina and ask for her previous job back.

„As things stand, the institutions in Serbia do not need us, we have been severely tricked and deceived by the call for resignations that we have given. Albanians are not to blame for this kind of torture, but Serbs and the politics of Srpska Lista,“ she emphasized.

Another resident of Leposavic S. M. spoke for our portal as well, again on the condition of anonymity. She is a single mother of one child, who also claims that she was left without a salary this month. Moreover, she says that a week before her salary was suspended, her right to social assistance was terminated.

She further elaborated that: „Like everyone else, I switched from the Kosovo system to the Serbian system. A few days ago, they brought me a decision that my social benefits were suspended because I receive a salary from the budget of the Republic of Serbia. A week after that, I was left without that salary.”

According to her story, she had been employed in a Kosovo healthcare institution as a geriatric nurse since 2017. She indicated that she was still going to work, even though she had not received her salary.

She also believes that Srpska Lista, namely the president of the Leposavic Municipality, Zoran Todić, is responsible for this as she also is a supporter of the Party of Kosovo Serbs.

She even issued an appeal the to President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, but so far without success.

„If our president is saying that he will give social welfare and that the people should stay here, why are they doing this?“, she complained, while adding:

„I will pursue this further because I earned my salary and what I earned must be paid to me. Besides, I want to hear why this was done to us.”

She is even ready, if required, to raise international attention.

„We were forced by threats and blackmail to resign. We had to do it out of fear. And in the end, now I was left without that salary, and in the Kosovo system I had a permanent contract. I am a single mother, and I must support my child with something“.

We were unable to verify their allegations against the Leposavic municipality. Since we began work on this story, we have not received any answers from Zoran Todić, the Mayor of the Leposavic, despite assurances that he would respond.

During the conversation we had with him on Friday when he was in Belgrade for a meeting with the Serbian President, Todić told us that he would make a statement after verifying their allegations.

His response has not been forthcoming.

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.