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POLAND: Protest of Uniform Services

The Federation of Trade Unions of Uniform Services called a general protest, which took place yesterday in Warsaw – it included servicemen of the Police, Border Guard, the Prison Service, and the State Fire Service. Initially, the Police began protesting in July by refraining from issuing fines for minor misdemeanours – this caused a PLN 10 million loss to the state budget.

The protestors demanded a PLN 650 pay raise, the return to previous regulation regarding Police pension schemes and the resumption of wage valorisation. Representatives of the Police trade union argue that they generate a substantial income for the state, while the lowest ranking servicemen receive minimal wages – these issues are common to most uniform services. After a series of negotiations with Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński, a partial agreement was drafted, however, representatives of the Police remain unsatisfied and are demanding a higher raise than the proposed PLN 610 and a plan for future raises.

It remains to be seen whether the government will act on the Police’s demands, however in context of the shortage of labour force on the market, reforms and incentives may be required to successfully recruit new servicemen. In context of the local elections, the government will have to balance its position, especially in light of its previous criticism regarding the closure of numerous local Police stations during the PO-PSL term.