A hundred firefighters spoke out on Saturday morning at the Kunst-Wetkruispunt in Brussels in favor of a better status and a better end-of-career scheme. The firefighters are also demanding guarantees regarding the maintenance of the transition to 12- or 24-hour shifts. The vaccination obligation is also being questioned.
“Our statute in a number of cases where someone can be sued, where that is not the case in other public offices,” says Erik Vandenberk, head of VSOA. “In addition, there is no real end-of-career scheme for us. The scheme that is there, that pension, is implemented to the unapplied, older firefighters until the very last day of their execution as young firefighters.”
In addition, the fire service is faced with a staff shortage and a very high workload. For example, the interventions for ambulances have increased by 20 percent in the coming years. VSOA/SLPF also asks to increase the number of pay scales from 25 to 41 years, because the government requires them to work longer before they retire. The union guarantees regarding the maintenance of the transition to 12- or 24-hour shifts.
At least some of the demonstrators also do not want to know about a vaccination obligation.
The firefighters moved from the Kunst-Wetkruispunt into Wetstraat, towards the royal park, but were stopped by a police barricade. The police siren applauded the firefighters and set off fireworks and smoke bombs. The demonstrators also briefly blocked the Kunst-Wetkruispunt and the small Brussels Ring.