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PSP in nationwide protest for equal pay rates

Second day of protest after hundreds of agents gathered outside parliament and in Porto

The protest by Portugal’s public security police (PSP) for better pay and working conditions continues today, after hundreds of agents gathered in front of parliament and Porto city hall yesterday, and others refused to operate patrol cars at various police stations.

Speaking to Lusa, leader of the police professionals’ union Paulo Santos told Lusa that at 2am today there were still dozens of officers gathered in Porto, in front of the city hall.

He described the actions that have been developing as “spontaneous”, having not been organised by any union.

Agents from command posts as far apart as Braga, Faro and the Azores became involved while others in Caldas da Rainha, Leiria and Castelo Branco joined the sit-in near the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon, where there were still at least a dozen at 8:45 today.

“We reached a few thousand people overall. Porto and Lisbon alone had more than 1,000,” said Santos.

The protests began after the government approved the payment (on November 29) of a duty bonus for PJ judicial police – the country’s main criminal investigation agency – which, in some cases, could represent an increase to inspectors paypackets of almost €700 per month.

PSP police consider this to be “unequal and discriminatory treatment”.

As to whether a caretaker government can respond to their call for parity, Paulo Santos said that as far as he is aware, the government is still able to “take political steps.

“It is obviously in a caretaker mode, conditioned in some situations, but it has the political availability to listen to institutions, listen to professionals and even respond, as long as the country’s president doesn’t consider that the measures jeopardise the very stability of the country.” 

Santos also said that, with this protest, PSP police want to send a message to the future government: “At least put the issue of internal security on the agenda”, he said.

Source material: LUSA