June 8th, 2011

Law enforcement demo looms as early retirement talks fail

Law enforcement and fire services unions said they would go ahead with a planned demonstration for June 16 as talks with the prime minister on Tuesday morning failed to bring an agreement over pension changes.

Bela Pongo, head of the Independent Union of Police Employees, and Judit Bardos, head of the Union of Law Enforcement Employees, agreed that the government’s proposal for pension changes is unacceptable.

The unions protest the government’s plans to scrap early retirement. The government has proposed that employees may retire early but must pay tax on their entitlements, and will not fully qualify for tax-free pensions until they reach the mandatory retirement age, which is 62 to 65 years, depending on the year of birth.

Pal Powell, a representative of the interest-coordination forum for law enforcement bodies, said Prime Minister Viktor Orban promised to consult law enforcement union representatives when the government works out plans for a new career path for the sector.

Fifteen unions sent representatives to Tuesday’s talks.

Meanwhile a train drivers’ union, MOSZ, called a demonstration on the square in front of parliament on Thursday over the contested retirement changes.

The union told MTI in a statement that train drivers find it harder and harder to pass the compulsory health tests as they reach the age of 60, and that the high health risks of their job puts them at a disadvantage.

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