Justice minister Koen Geens states that the negotiations with the unions are on track and hope that they will end by Friday (6 May). However, he isn’t sure as the “strike wasn’t initiated by the unions but by the base.” He has submitted a proposal to the union representatives of prison staff at a meeting held at his office.
After the meeting, the Flemish unions felt that progress had been made. The unions representing staff at the Brussels and Walloon prisons continue to protest against the rationalization in the sector.
“The authorities’ proposals don’t meet the current prison staff needs and the security issues,” said Laurence Clamar, permanent secretary for the public sector at the Christian Trade Unions in Belgium (CSC).
For his part, the minister of justice indicated that another way of working in the prisons would be needed to improve the situation in the prisons.
He also said that he is struck by the fact that Belgium has been condemned because of the situation in its prisons and promised to make the necessary adjustments.
The question of establishing a minimum service in the prisosn is still the stumbling block between the authorities and the unions. Negotiations on this have gone on for eight months. On next Monday, discussions will take place in particular on this issue in the presence of a social mediator.
The Brussels Times (Source: Belga)