By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – As the Polícia Militar (Military Police) strike continues in the Salvador and the northeastern state of Bahia, the union representing the Polícia Civil (Civilian Police) force in Rio de Janeiro (SINPOL) gave official notice of their own proposed strike action, to commence on February 10th.
According to SINPOL, Rio state government has a deadline of February 8th to open up negotiations with representatives from the Polícia Civil, Polícia Militar and the Bombeiros (Fire Service) if a strike is to be avoided.
SINPOL’s chairman, Commissioner Fernando Bandeira, said that thirty percent of the workforce would remain operational, in compliance with strike legislation, to provide a minimum level of protection for the population.
A general meeting has been scheduled between the three security forces on the eve of the proposed strike in Cinelândia at 6PM.
According to a statement issued yesterday by officials, the entry-level salary of an officer of Polícia Militar in Rio (PMERJ) starts at R$2,019.33. The salary budget of the police force went from R$916 million in 2006 to an estimated R$2.3 billion in 2012, an increase of 158 percent.
Also, governor Sérgio Cabral signed a decree on January 10th, increasing the frequency of promotions for officers, a measure that will benefit 17,829 officers immediately, adding R$75.5 million to the annual budget.
The tension is increasing as Rio watches the situation in Bahia, where a further thirteen people were killed yesterday, bringing the total number of homicides to 83 since the beginning of the strike last Wednesday.
Over 3,000 troops have been brought in by the federal government, and twelve arrest warrants have been issued against the police officers involved in the strike movement.
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