RIGA, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The united police trade union of Latvia said on Monday that it is calling a picket in Riga on Sept. 27 to demand guarantees that the existing system of long-service pensions for retired officers will stay intact, local media reported.
The police union's leader Agris Suna said that the picket might be joined by officers of the Latvian state police, various municipal police forces, as well as firefighters and employees of other services subordinated to the interior ministry.
In Suna's words, the trade union wants guarantees that the current pension system will not be changed. The trade union has reportedly received "leaked information" about changes being planned for the system.
With their protest, police officers are also going to demand better social guarantees and pay raises so they do not have to combine several jobs to sustain their families, the union leader said, adding that although their wages were recently raised the increase was too small to make any difference. "The wages are barely back to the pre-crisis level," Suna said.
He added that the trade union counts around 2,000 policemen as its members, but the possible changes in the pension system might affect some 20,000 employees, including also border guards, firefighters and others.
The Latvian finance ministry has proposed replacing the long-service pension system for persons with special service ranks with an alternative compensatory mechanism where money for pensions would be saved in private retirement plans.