Justice Min. tries to stop police labor actions in court
Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security is turning to court to try and stop planned labor actions by the police. The police unions called on officers to only respond to emergencies this weekend, and not perform any of their other duties. According to the Minister, this will jeopardize safety, NU.nl reports.
This newest police action is set to take place from 6:00 p.m. on Friday until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. It forms part of numerous police protests for a better collective bargaining agreement. During that time the emergency room call centers will remain accessible. The police will respond to emergency reports, which includes violent crimes and life-threatening situation, but not reports of nuisance or neighbor quarrels.
According to Gerrit van de Kamp, director of union ACP, the action will happen as planned. "Unless there is a collective bargaining agreement before the weekend, or the judge puts a stop to it, the action continues", he said to the newspaper.
Police unions ACP, ANPV, NPB and VMHP have been protesting for a better collective bargaining agreement for weeks. Police officers protested at Amsterdam Central Station, at Utrecht Central Station, at the Tweede Kamer in The Hague and in the city center of Eindhoven. They've stopped writing traffic fines, stopped collecting fines, and deleted photos from speeding cameras so that speeders can't be fined. The labor actions also include not deploying police officers to major events, like the Outdoor Decibel festival last month. And the unions called on officers working at the police's information desk to reduce their activities.
The action planned for this weekend will be the most severe labor action ever taken by the police, a spokesperson for the unions previously said to NOS. "But we have to take this step. If noting changes now, we will soon not be able to be there when citizens need us."
The police unions want a wage increase and lower workload for their members. In July the unions rejected an offer made by Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security and police chief Erik Akerboom. The offer included a wage increase of 7 percent over two years. But according to the unions, wages must increase structurally by 8 percent and the offer did not include any solutions for the high workload.