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Police suspend protests to allow ‘calm’ negotiations on pay, pensions

Illustration shows protesting officers wearing the logo of VSOA - SLFP police union inside the departure hall of Brussels airport in Zaventem. (BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND)
06:08 29/11/2021

Police officers will not carry out a protest in Brussels on Monday, the day of the resumption of negotiations, so that the talks can "take place in calm and serenity," a joint statement from the trade union organisations announced. "Expectations are very high" over an agreement on salary increases and pension adjustments.

Police unions and Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden are due to meet on Monday to discuss the issues. A meeting between the two parties last week had been cut short due to the lack of concrete proposals presented by the minister, according to the unions.

The unions are demanding that the NAPAP – the end-of-career adjustment scheme specific to police officers, which is due to be abolished after 2022 – must be extended. "Despite the fact that in October, the €67 million offer disappeared from the negotiating table, we wish to take a constructive position and seek together a solution with one objective in mind: for a restoration of the attractiveness of the profession, a financial revaluation for the integrated police and the continued application of the NAPAP system," the trade unions state.

In order for Monday's negotiations to take place "in calm and serenity," the police have decided not to take action. But "it certainly does not mean that we will stop our actions, quite the contrary,” warned the unions. “If the negotiations fail on Monday, the actions will resume."

 

Written by Nick Amies