TBILISI, DFWatch — Civil groups in Georgia are concerned about the dismissal of public employees in local government.

Around 1 200 public employees have been fired from their jobs since the election in October, 2012. Non-governmental organizations now protest against the firing people from local governments too.

About a week ago, Transparency International Georgia (TI) published information that Interior Ministry gave to the organization. According to the organization, about 1 200 persons have been dismissed from public bodies between 25 October and 1 December, 2012.

According to a table that showed the numbers of dismissed employees, a large number of them have submitted their letters of resignation. TI considered this suspicious because of the very high unemployment rate in Georgia and claims that in most cases these persons were forced by higher level officials to write their letters of resignation.

The same is being said by Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) to the heads of local governments.

GYLA held a press conference about the firing two employees from Kareli municipality. One of them claims that she was forced to write her letter of resignation.

The organization also looked into to case of Nino Maisuradze, who planned a maternity leave, then wrote a letter of resignation on January 8, 2013. She said she was promised that the new governor would hire her again.

But GYLA suspects that Nino Maisuradze was forced to leave the job, because she is 8 months pregnant and has a right to use paid maternity leave. Moreover, she is the only source of income for her family. Also, according to Georgian Legislation (Public Service Law, article 111) it is illegal to fire a pregnant woman in cases of downsizing, long-term disability or health condition.

“We should note that when Nino Maisuradze replied to Ivane Osadze, acting governor of Kareli, he answered, ‘Your firing was ordered because your husband supported National Movement’,” the GYLA statement says.

Ivane Osadze said to a news program on TV company Trialeti on December 18, 2012, that he demanded that his employees write resignation letters and after that he would decide who would be leaving their jobs.

GYLA calls on officials to operate within the frames of the law, on the government to investigate cases of dismissal and on the board of Kareli municipality to reconsider their decision and bring back the employee that was fired.

The organization continues to monitor the activities of local governments.