Police unions, who were meeting Prime Minister Charles Michel and Home Secretary Jan Jambon on Monday morning, highlighted the new “positive atmosphere” in the difficult discussion about pensions, following the meeting. According to Vincent Gilles, from SLFP Police (a union), this was a “kick-off meeting”, and unions very much appreciated the involvement of the prime minister in this matter. “Details” were not discussed, said Vincent Gilles. But “Charles Michel now understands that police officers need to be reassured about their future. This clearly shows his determination to find a solution which benefits all parties,” he added.
However the discussion on the official labelling of the policeman’s job as “difficult” or “taxing” (an essential request of the unions) will not in fact take place within the framework of these bilateral meetings in the near future. This issue will be decided by the future national pensions committee.
According to Jerome Aoust, from the SNPS (a union), the next step is putting in place a specific “plan” or else “temporary measures” to deal with police pensions, until the national committee states. “We have circumscribed the discussion,” sums up Gert Cockx, also from the SNPS. “Ministers do acknowledge that ours is a specific type of work. The relationship was productive and this meeting allowed calm and peace to preside over the debate.” This will be dealt with at a restricted cabinet meeting in the next few days, before another meeting between unions and Jan Jambon takes place mid-May, according to the SNPS.