Police union declares industrial dispute after government refuses quarantine leave for officers

The Police Officers Union within the GWU issues industrial action directives to members after quarantine leave dispute with government remains unsolved • PN says government's actions show it does not understand the 'suffering and danger' of law enforcers

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

Police officers have been ordered by their union not to wear a tie, not to wear a beret and not to shave after their demands for COVID-19 positive officers to be given quarantine leave was not met.

The POU raised the issue back in January when they claimed officers were not being given quarantine leave like other public service employees.

With no resolution to the impasse, the POU on Monday declared an industrial dispute and issued a series of symbolic directives that will come into force from tomorrow at 9am.

ATTENTION PLEASE 👀 ▪︎Wara li L-Police Officers' Union(POU fi hdan il GWU) ressqet ilment u ilha għal diversi ġimghat f'...

Posted by Police Officers Union on Sunday, March 14, 2021

Meanwhile, the Nationalist Party criticised the government’s decision to categorise absences from work due to COVID-19 as sick leave instead of quarantine leave for law enforcement.

"Police unions have for several weeks been stressing that such absence from work should be considered as quarantine leave and not as sick leave. Despite this, the government has remained stubborn despite the complaints submitted by the police unions and now weeks have passed without this situation being unblocked," the PN said.

As a result, the party said the Police Officers Union has now been forced to issue directives to its members, which will come into force tomorrow. 

The PN said this showed that, once again, Prime Minister Robert Abela's attitude showed a government that does not understand the suffering and danger law enforcement is going through in Malta.

"The Nationalist Party, while expressing solidarity and full appreciation for the work of the police in these difficult times for our country, urges Robert Abela to stop harassing the country's police and to see that the justified demands of the unions are immediately welcomed," the party said