Staff at migrant facilities unpaid for months

Dozens of interpreters, social workers and psychologists working on short-term contracts at the country’s migrant detention centers have not been paid for months despite the fact that their wages are supposed to be covered by European Union subsidies, Kathimerini understands.

A total of 250 employees – 100 interpreters, 75 social workers and 75 psychologists – were hired last December to staff migrant facilities in Amygdaleza, northwest of Athens, in Elliniko, south of Athens, in Corinth, and in Paranesti, Orestiada and Xanthi, northern Greece, as well as at the Athens Aliens Bureau.

Although their net wages do not exceed 800 euros a month, they have yet to be paid and many are struggling to make ends meet, Kathimerini understands.

Last weekend, the Immigration and Border Protection Department of the Greek Police distributed a circular to migrant detention facilities, demanding that employees submit additional documents so their wages can be approved. “They’ve even asked us to sign a statement confirming that the bank account numbers we’ve submitted are ours,” one of the psychologists said, referring to “unacceptable bureaucracy.”

An interpreter from one of the facilities in northern Greece said there were similar delays in paying workers last year. In one case, the director of the facility had to reassure a colleague’s landlord that he would soon get his wages and pay his rent.

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