A total of 2,500 orderlies in the Balearic Islands have filed a class action lawsuit against the local Government for having been excluded from a call for applications because they do not have a Catalan language qualification. Those affected, who make up approximately half of those eligible for the post, are also asking for the process to be suspended as a precautionary measure while the courts rule on the merits of the case.
Many of the plaintiffs have previously worked in the Servei de Salut de les Illes Balears. However, they were excluded from the competition that opened last July because they could not prove their knowledge of Catalan, according to the newspaper Ultima Hora. The orderlies must prove that they have the A2 qualification.
The requirement of Catalan in the Balearic Administration is in force with the entry of the Government of Francina Armengol. The previous president, José Ramón Bauzá, of the PP but today in the ranks of Cs, eliminated this obligation and turned it into a merit, instead of a requirement. This decision caused widespread controversy and the abandonment from the ranks of some prominent PP militant.
The tripartite formed by PSOE, Més and Podemos modified the law so that it would once again be a requirement. But they introduced an exception that gave health professionals a period of two years to accredit their knowledge of the language once they had obtained the post. This exception was recently overturned by the courts.
In the case of the “bolsines de celadores”, until now they were not required to accredit their knowledge of Catalan in order to be eligible for the “bolsín”. However, in the call for applications in July this requirement was included, which has now led to the lawsuit. In the lawsuit they state this circumstance as they point out that the Servei de Salut is acting against previous acts, which excludes some 2,500 people from the list.
They also denounce the fact that Catalan has not been required in calls for applications for other categories. They flag, for example, that in the case of a call for applications for nurses, they are allowed to apply for posts on the condition that they subsequently accredit their possession of the qualification.
The complaints claim that there has been a double standard that leaves them defenceless and for this reason they ask the tribunal to annul the call for applications or suspend it and allow them to form part of the lists.
They also point out that the exclusion of all these staff from the tests could cause problems in providing the service. And this would be detrimental to the common good, given the real possibility that the Servei de Salut would be left without staff to cover its needs.