The Commission`s permanent secretary, Mario Cutajar, described the agreement as historic after the police were granted the right to join a union of their choice, adding that the agreement would enhance the effectiveness of the police. The agreement, signed between the government and the union representing AFM soldiers, provides for soldiers to benefit on three levels. Prior to the proceedings, Interior and National Security Minister Michael Farrugia said the agreement would provide for a reduced work week of 46 to 40 hours and that constaulators and police inspectors would scale up the public sector payroll system. He explained that this is an investment of 8.2 million euros in about 1,750 AFM soldiers, adding that the contract was signed today, but that it will have part of the contract retroactively from January 2019. This means that some AFM soldiers receive a substantial amount of reimbursement. A new sectoral agreement has been signed between the police, two unions representing members of the force and the government. One of the main advantages of the agreement is that police officers will no longer work 46 hours a week, while all ranks – from constabulator to inspector – will benefit from a pay rise and better working conditions. The government has announced the first sectoral agreement with the Maltese Armed Forces (AFM), which will allow soldiers to benefit from better conditions thanks to an agreement of 8.2 million euros. The Maltese police association and the police officers` union unanimously approved the agreement. Increased investment in policing will also be permitted for new equipment, such as bodycams and uniforms, while police stations will also be modernised and made available to people with disabilities.
Malcolm Bondin said: “The package is a balance between family-friendly measures and financial benefits. These are two things that the troupe suffered, and unfortunately we worked long hours – 46 hours a week – and that meant a lot of waste of time with the family. The 40-hour-a-week agreement means more time with families.” Mr. Camilleri referred to the investigation triggered by a complaint by the civil society NGO Repubblika, which asked the police to investigate the crew of the P52 for attempted manslaughter, which resulted in unsubstantiated allegations.