When actions and discourse won esthetic
| | 11-05-2016

Atilla OLÇUM

When they took their payroll in hand, every member of the fund wanted to believe necessity of ILKSAN (Healthcare and Social Assistance Fund for Primary School Teachers) with the approach of “If members of military have OYAK, why would not be an assistance fund for teachers”.  However, when it comes to utilizing the savings and cuts from salaries of education workers who manage their existence barely, difference in point of view between owners and users of those cuts immediately manifests itself.

Turkey has learned from KITs (Government Business Enterprises) how weird both being a governmental institution and losing are. However, we should seek together an answer for the question of “How could assistance fund go bankrupt, why could it be in mire with a deficit of 2.6 billion?”  

In my opinion there are two main reasons that dragged İLKSAN into a quagmire: First is the incapability; and the second is arbitrariness.

 Inefficiency has get the fund to be this way

  There are two funds as a complementary professional pension fund for civil servants in our country. One is OYAK (Turkish Armed Forces Assistance and Pension Fund), and the other is İLKSAN. According to data for 2014, total number of members at OYAK is 291618, 45.5 % (132561) of which are at the status of voluntary members. The fact that people consign their savings to OYAK without any legal obligation is also an indication of trust the people put in this institution. I wish we could see such a self confidence in İLKSAN to make the membership arbitrary by trusting in its profitability; it has not been possible so far because executive body of İLKSAN stop the execution of our collective agreement gain that has made the membership optional by bringing it to trial. We should not be surprised to see that an understanding which tries to prevent obligatory membership by brutal force in a constitutional state and does not hesitate to abuse the law went to the wall.

According to figures of 2014, while total assets of OYAK have exceeded 20 billion TL, İLKSAN has been able to just reach 1 billion TL and conveyed it by SMSs to all members with cries of victory without any shame. My answer to those claiming that “While OYAK makes cuts of 5-10% from its members, we cut 2%,” is simple: perhaps OYAK’s cut is two times or five times more than İLKSAN’s cuts, but amount of OYAK’s assets is twenty times more than İLKSAN’s. Even if we do direct proportion, today the amount of İLKSAN’s assets should have been 4 billion TL at least. Current loss of İLKSAN is minimum 3 billion TL. Today if İLKSAN attempts to pay the savings of all members, the amount it needs is 3.6 billion TL at least, but there is only 1 billion TL on hand. 

 While OYAK has reached its present level by investing in profitable fields such as iron and steel, cement, mine, and construction, İLKSAN continues to make loss. If the Fund is on the brink of being taken over by an administrator today at the hand of an understanding that sees itself as a government office and is too blind to see the professionalism and private-sector awareness of OYAK and if the present executive board is not able to see that reality, it means that incapability/ inefficiency is at the highest level.

 Arbitrariness could not be prevented in the Fund

 Well why does not Executive Board of İLKSAN, which could not founded a single profit-generating firm or a single factory and does not have enough qualities to run even a grocery store, face those realities? Why does not it accept that fact? Here, arbitrariness prevails again.

When there are many vague incidents, opportunities and interests such as turning İLKSAN’s firms, which have made losses again and again, into a family farm, that the fund uses promotions given by the banks where their money is deposited in as “discretionary fund”, not accounting those promotions, not giving account to the public and us as members, with a brazen attitude, saying that “We only give account to general assembly”, why do they end that reign and arbitrariness? What I mentioned above are only the ones we manage to know. What about those which have been hidden from us?

 None of activity reports had been published on the institution’s website until 2013. They vouchsafed and started to unwillingly publish them by the pressures, but they could not show the “bravery” that OYAK has displayed, and instead of submitting all reports of 2000- 2015, they could share only those of 2007-2013. They cannot give all reports of the last 15 years because meltdown in the Fund’s incomes against inflation over the last decade has already reached 219%.

İLKSAN has been imprinted on the memories as an institution whose lands have been given as present and whose business organizations make loss. In 2009, while President of Turk Egitim-Sen had said that “600-700 million Turkish Liras are needed in addition to assets and existing money of İLKSAN,” he said in 2011 that “In order to pay the money required to give all members pursuant to regulation, you must add 1 billion TL more.” Namely, the deficit increased by 300 million TL over two years, which is a clear indication of the fact that İLKSAN cannot be administered and counts the days toward the bankruptcy. We have revealed repeatedly by administrative and financial reports that loss of İLKSAN, which has an institutional structure that has no example in Turkey and around the world any more, has increased each passing day and as authorized trade union it has been turned into an institution which cannot be managed and generate profit. We have accepted preventing further loss of all education workers who have been made member of the Fund on the basis of obligatory membership among our responsibilities within the scope of our title as authorized trade union. That’s why we opened the way for application of “voluntary membership” as a liberalistic and democratic method by ensuring those provisions, which end obligatory Fund membership in the 2nd and 3rd term collective agreements, be included in collective agreement regarding to branch of service. However administration of İLKSAN has considered “voluntary membership” as a risk to tear the curtain covering their management inabilities and inefficiency in preventing financial loss and to reveal abuse of membership in İLKSAN. Provision of 3rd Term Collective Agreement that cancelled “obligatory membership” and accordingly “forcible contribution fees” which is legally obsolete, ignoring freedoms of contract and will -which are among fundamental rights and freedoms- was brought to trial by the administration of İLKSAN. It’s not surprising for us that the administration -which has never made such a struggle to protect and improve the rights of Fund’s members- rushes to the court for the sake of their interests now. However, it should be known that the fact that those who do not worry about harms they give to the Fund and members have proceeded legally against the provision of collective agreement which reveals their incapability is a document proving that present İLKSAN administration cares about their own management which continuously expand losses- instead of caring about the members.

 The end which is inevitable and must be realized as immediate as possible is liquidation of İLKSAN that is not compatible with the spirit of time, has already completed its mission, is unaware of risk management, markets and real economy, and not sustainable any longer, has turned into a kind of KIT (Government Business Enterprises), does not amount to anything other than an aged enterprise founded in 1943, and is behind the today’s socio-economic conditions.

 By force of being authorized trade union that rightly ensures protection and improvement of education workers’ rights and earnings obtained by great efforts; Egitim-Bir-Sen’s call for boycotting İLKSAN by not voting for representative elections in order to create public pressure on starting the liquidation process that will enable return of rights of all Fund members has been reciprocated.

 Breaking the chains, at least 75% of the members did not go the ballot box in elections for İLKSAN delegates in April 2016; and they gave the following historic message to the Fund: “I can use my money better than you do. I do not need you. Keep your hands off my valet, salary, and my family’s livelihood and return my due before it’s too late!”