On Thursday morning at around 10:30AM, approximately 13,900 officers, took to the streets of the capital to protest for their right to early retirement. The demonstration stopped for a few minutes while a meeting took place between union representatives and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Pensions, Alexander De Croo, before heading back to Cinquantenaire Park. “The cops are fed up. Don’t touch our status,” some banners read. “Early retirement: Acknowledge the difficulty of our job,” they chanted.
For Olivier Bourguignon, Chairman of the SFL Police Union in the Brussels region, the prevailing feeling is one of anger. “We signed an agreement. I do not see why the government refuses to respect it,” he declared. “Today, talks are being held to removeour status as special officers. But we are not like other officials! There are twice as many suicides among police officers than among other officials. The life expectancy of an officer is 65 years.”
On July 10th, the Constitutional Court denied a provision granting the officers of the former state police the right to go into retirement earlier than their colleagues of the “merged” police force. United in a common front, the SLFP Police, CCS, the CSPF and SNPS, all police unions, ask the partners of the future government coalition for a clear commitment to take legislative action to bring the situation back to the way it was to prior to the Court’s ruling.
Jonathan Morrison (Source: Belga)