Velez-Malaga mayor sends police packing

PROTEST: Police wear long noses to express their distrust.

Velez-Malaga’s mayor, Antonio Moreno Ferrer, expelled tens of Local Police officers from a council meeting after they staged a protest over work conditions.

The officers, who have protested twice before, criticised “breaches of promises and lies,” over a delay in approving changes to their work patterns which would see officers work six consecutive days with five days off, compared to their current four-day break.

Mayor Ferrer explained he removed the officers for “displaying posters that undermine the image of this corporation and this city,” after they carried placards declaring ‘Unfulfilled deadlines’ and ‘Mayor does not tell the truth.’

On being asked to leave, one officer showed the mayor his work shoes which had a sole missing and asked if that “undermined the image of Velez-Malaga,” claiming he had “been writing to ask for a new pair of shoes for two years.”

Earlier this month around 60 Local Police officers in Velez-Malaga attended another council meeting wearing Pinocchio noses and protesting the council’s delay in approving €500,000 worth of pay rises.

Various trade unions, including SIP-An, UPLB and UGT, are on board, urging the mayor to hurry his decision.

They claim he promised in March the rises would be approved within five months, but “he has not yet sent us a draft.”

Officers then staged a second protest, demanding improvements to their headquarters, as well as an increase in staff numbers, saying they believe at least another 50 officers are needed.

The mayor says he is still within the timeframe to approve the pay rises and he is working to resolve complaints by the Local Police, which have been “dragging on for years.”

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