"The time for backup is now"claim policemen who demonstrate this Thursday in front of the Palace

“The Police are mobilized for a decent salary. No more promises by the Executive Power, the time for support is now,” says the Union of Police Unions (USIP) that will mobilize this Thursday from 10 a.m. before the Legislative Palace, in rejection of the provisions of the Executive Power in the Rendering of Accounts.

The concentration intends to transmit a massive demand from those officials in the face of a guideline that they consider absolutely insufficient, he told The Observer days ago the leader of the union Luis Clavijo. The USIP delivered to the legislators an analysis of the budget message, in which the provisions of the Ministry of the Interior in the articles are harshly criticized.

This study has the support of other unions such as the Single Union of Police Officers of Uruguay (SUPU), the Union of Police Officers of Montevideo (Sifpom), the Union of Police Officers of Maldonado (Sipolma), the Association of Officials of the Ministry of the Interior (Afumi) and the Association of Migration Officials (Afumigra).

The analysis specifically questioned the salary increase defined by the government in the budget message. By article 90 a game of $650 million, including Christmas bonus and legal charges, for the purpose of increasing salary allocations.

According to the calculations of the trade unions, the expected item I would give simply for an average increase of $1,500 for each policeman, which in the salary of an agent would represent an increase of 2.8%. “With the greatest respect, what is being done with police workers is a shame and a joke” it is stated, refuting the ministry’s claims that it is a “significant increase”.

The report underlines that, between 2016 and 2022, the police salary increased 51.23%. Until 2020, the increase coincided with the evolution of the CPI. However, in the last two years it has been lower than that index, which led to the loss of purchasing power of officials in an average of 6% in total. At this stage of the government, it is noted, the salary loss already amounts to 8%.

The report stops in turn in various articles that establish increases, special compensation and creation of positions of trust and high hierarchy. Thus, it is stated, the wage gap continues to widen. “If there is a need for savings, let it not always be for those below”, it is marked.

The unions also question article 98 of the Rendering of Accounts. There it is foreseen that the pronouncement of the National Civil Service Commission in the administrative summaries in the event of physical or mental ineptitude of the police officers will no longer be mandatory. It is, they say, a measure added to other recent regulatory changes that take away “rights and guarantees.” For example, reducing the duration of the subsidy for partial disability from three years to one and a half years, below the rest of public and private workers.

On the other hand, article 13 is criticized for not excluding police officials in the provision of deducting the first three days that a public official is under medical certification.

Article 104 is also pointed out, which establishes a single national circumscription for promotions in the scale of officers of the administrative sub-echelon. A modification that, in the opinion of the officials, cannot be made without a prior and exhaustive study. “We require the review of the functional closure through a special law and with prior bipartite discussion,” they ask.

The police unions demand in turn that the Police Hospital stop providing health care to people deprived of liberty, and that in that sense they stop deducting a percentage of their salary from officials to finance that care. “Not a single prison can be covered with resources resulting from the money that is deducted from police workers,” it is stated. In this sense, this Rendering of Accounts provides for the transfer of the prisoners from Montevideo and Canelones to the orbit of the State Health Services Administration (ASSE).

a useless circus

The mobilization lacks unanimity among union officials. The National Coordinator of Police Unions (Conasip) announced this Wednesday that it will not accompany the concentration, recalling that “the fight for a decent salary began in March 2019, not a month ago and little as those who call today to march believe”. But, it was pointed out, “during all this time that the romance with the authorities lasted, they were not heard talking about salary, not even by mistake.” On the contrary, it was pointed out, the strategy followed by the other unions resulted in insufficient salary increases in this Accountability.

“Now they are calling the police to march who have not obtained a single benefit and those who have harmed with the signed agreements,” he lamented. “Bad management is not fixed or supported by marches.” For the coordinator, this Thursday’s mobilization will mean a “useless circus”, whose sole purpose will be “to wash away the errors of a superb union leadership.”

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