Between 500 and 600 people, according to the estimates of the police unions and the police on the spot, gathered Monday morning at 6 a.m., in front of the central station of Brussels, to demonstrate and demand a long-awaited salary increase. There is also a question of end-of-career planning. The police displayed the four colors red, green, blue and white of their four unions CGSP, CSC, SLFP and SNPS, in common front. They made noise with firecrackers.
From 6.15 am, they set off to reach the crossroads “Arts-Law“, at the crossroads between rue de la Loi and avenue des Arts, at the gates of the neutral zone. They also created problems in the Tervuren and Cinquantenaire tunnels.
Home Secretary Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) informed them that a delegation will be received briefly at her Cabinet around 9:30 am, and that a longer meeting will be scheduled for Tuesday. The demonstrators therefore headed shortly after 8.15 am towards Place Madou and Rue du Congrès to bypass the neutral zone and position themselves near the Cabinet. The dislocation of the gathering is scheduled for around 10 a.m., at the end of this meeting.
“Commitments, proposals and promises to see what can be done are inaudible to us“, warns Eddy Quaino, permanent CGSP for the police.”We now want the minister to come with a budget envelope to put on the negotiating table so that we can have this famous salary increase. (…) We’ve been waiting for 20 years“.
Raoul Moulin, permanent secretary for the police at the CSC, adds that “the minister had come before the summer with a budget of 60 million which represented an increase of 30 to 50 euros per month, which was deemed insufficient after 20 years.“
The police have not been increased since the police reform of April 2001. They have been demonstrating since last Monday every day of the week and the unions say they are ready to keep this pace until they win their case.