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The European Council of Police Unions (CESP) – an international non – governmental organization (INGO) with the Council of Europe, representative of 300 000 police officers of 16 countries (13 of whom being European Union members) – attended its Executive Committee in Bucharest on October 7 and 8, 2016

CONTEMPORARY UNIONISM

SOCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL ISSUES OF POLICE OFFICERS ‘’

Being a Policemen in today’s world requires more attention than any other profession because they exercise a profession like no other.

Indeed, the danger, the requirement of unlimited availability, constant exposure to physical and moral violence significantly exposes workers to social psychology risks. Moreover, the geopolitical context of the European societies to radicalism and terrorism requires more exemplary professionalism. The contemporary syndicalism arose as a solution to social and professional problems of police officers. In order to be effective, unionism must both be the defender of individual and collective interests throughout the career of staff as well as establish itself as contradiction of force and motion.  

  1. I) Defense of individual and collective interests
  1. A) The requirement of fundamental principles

No action is possible without prior recognition of the founding principles of our values: freedom, democracy, social equality, secularism.

  1. B) The individual interests of police

The difficulties to exercise the profession must be addressed from a union perspective by first considering the agent in his individuality. These are women and men who are in the heart of business with undeniable family and social consequences.

  1. The career path

The union is involved throughout this journey from the appointment of the agent until his retirement (Advancement, transfer, grading, discipline)

  1. b) Working conditions

These are the issues of protection of the health of the police officer structurally organizing the exercise conditions (local, missions, Agent qualities)

  1. c) Legal protection

The officer must protect himself from both, the excesses of the administration on the situation eg in case of disciplinary unfairness, and he must also protect himself against misleading and slanderous denunciations. The union is there to assist the agent during his difficulties.

  1. C) The collective interests

The union action shall defend the evolution of a profession through all that it specifically entails.

This craft called derogatory rules at common law. The difficulty of the exercise gives the police unionism special requirement (pensions, salaries, status, compensatory etc ….)

  1. II) Principal of contradiction
  1. The requirement for autonomy and independence of the organization

To establish its effectiveness and credibility it is imperative that trade unionism is exercised independently of political power. It is a requirement that also prevails with regard to religious and philosophical trends.

Autonomy means financial independence, which guarantees freedom to organize its policy based on the expectations of members outside any union or political dogma.

  1. Contradiction Force

This independence is necessary to be a contradictory force. Since democracy induces debate the union must be an objective and pragmatic counter power.

By way of illustration, when a government wants to impose a working time regime which does not correspond to the operational realities of agents.

  1. Source of proposal

In order to be legitimate the organization must accompany the contradiction of actual proposals. It must win as visionary and as a partner in parity.

It participates in the development of measures that best fit the needs of the police.

The specificity of the profession makes the union the first conversation partner with of the State. Social dialogue with professionals must win. Otherwise the government will have the temptation of arbitrariness and will cut the ground realities. This is even more true knowing that the police are the guarantors of individual and collective freedoms of a democratic state. Our work is to collectively contribute to the development of a true contemporary unionism.

The CESP is fully compliant with this process because it first recognizes the fundamental values of democracy, but also maintains the specific features of each of its members and therefore contributes to the emergence of a global policy of European security.

Bucharest (Romania)

6-9 October 2016

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