The Slovenia Times

Hundreds of police in protest over higher pay


Close to three thousands protesters turned out, according to both police unions, some of them beating drums, others blowing whistles or shouting their demands.

The police carried banners with slogans such as "We've had enough" and "We'll see to Slovenia's security, you see to our livelihoods", urging the government to meet the commitments made by its predecessors.

The two police trade unions called for the protest in a bid to demonstrate police unity and resolve to insist on the implementation of their demands.

This is after no progress had been achieved in talks with the government since the strike started on 18 November.

Police have a long list of demands, foremost among them a pay rise of 35% in line with commitments made by previous governments, and the payment of outstanding overtime.

They also want the gear and technical means that would enable them for perform their job safely.

While the government has expressed willingness to pay for all overtime, it has ruled out meeting all the demands, which it has estimated would cost EUR 90m.

"We are not ashamed of wearing uniform, but we are ashamed when we look at our payslips," the boss of the PSS trade union, Radivoj Uroševič, said.

"The government shouldn't be afraid while we're here, it should fear when we're gone," his counterpart from the SPS union, Zoran Petrovič, added.

The two unionists entered the government building to hand over an album of photographs with which police and Interior Ministry employees backed the unions' demands for an improvement in their status.

Back on the street, the pair said the government had no time for their demands, but told them they were heard, so they urged the protesters to express their demands even louder, which they did.

The protesters then moved in front of the parliament building, where Uroševič and Petrovič were received by Speaker Milan Brglez.

Brglez pointed out that the dispute could only be solved through negotiations. While understanding the police demands he also knows the limitations of public finances.

The two sides can only solve their problems "by sitting behind the negotiating table, having a respectful talk and figure out what can be done within the given framework".

He moreover promised that he would do everything he can as the speaker of parliament to get the two sides to relaunch the negotiations.

Police demands will be debated as the coalition meet over security issues on Sunday, announced Simona Kustec Lipicer, the head of the deputy faction of the senior coalition Modern Centre Party (SMC).

She disapproved of the protest saying "this is not the wisest way of negotiation in the given situation", adding that two million Slovenians could be "emotionally enraged".

Matjaž Han, the leader of the Social Democrat (SD) deputy faction, told reporters he understood police so he hoped the government would respond to their demands.


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