Thursday, October 28

Environmental agents ask the Consell to be emergency personnel

Environmental agents in the Font Roja natural park, in a file image

Environmental agents in the Font Roja natural park, in a file image

The environmental agents of the Generalitat ask the regional government to consider them essential emergency personnel, so that their intervention and their functions are defined in the event of an eventuality. It is one of the demands that the group raises to the Consell in the face of the negotiation of the attributions and the work system, which is being carried out at the moment. In it, the staff is also raising other issues alluding to the lack of human and material resources, which have long generated some discomfort among the agents, as this newspaper published a few months ago.

Sources from the group of environmental agents explain that one of the main issues is the reduction of surveillance work at night, which in their opinion would leave the mountain unprotected in that strip and would make it difficult to respond in the event of an eventuality. In addition, they emphasize the problem of the “amortization of positions” that remain unsubstituted as professionals retire, or even in cases of death or leave due to other causes. In this sense, they point out that the position of the agent who died in the La Torre de les Maçanes fire in the summer of 2012. They also point out that the fact of not being considered emergency personnel, and that even the exact functions of the body have not yet been clearly defined, it prevents them from being in the same situation as other groups in aspects such as the conditions for retirement.

Professionals negotiate with the Ministry at this time the work quadrant for 2021

The sources consulted by this newspaper criticize the delay with which, in their opinion, this definition of functions is being carried out. In this sense, they highlight that in other autonomous communities, progress has been made in this regard, such as in Catalonia, where all the regulations that regulate the work of what are called rural agents have recently been approved, and there is also work in Galicia in a look similar. Therefore, they urge the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development to go along the same lines. In his opinion, the regional government must “bet in a clear and resounding way to take the step in the defense of the environment” which implies the stability of the group. In addition, they reiterate the presence of almost structural problems, such as the obsolescence of vehicles or even the lack of an official uniform.

However, the agents praise that on the part of the Conselleria there is “a very good disposition to dialogue”, and that so far all their demands and proposals have been heard, although they have not yet materialized in concrete actions. Therefore, they appeal to continue in this way and to reach agreements. At the moment, the issue that is being seen is the negotiation of the work quadrant, after the unions rejected the proposal initially raised by the Generalitat. The next meeting is scheduled for mid-January.

For their part, sources from the Department explain that right now they are working “on adapting the role of environmental agents to technological and professional reality.” At the same time, they are “closely following the declarations of the Ministry of Ecological Transition on a new basic law of Environmental and Forest Agents”, which is now in the public consultation phase.

The department confirms that “we have opened a line of dialogue with the unions,” with periodic meetings, “and we have a negotiation calendar that proposes the optimization of human and material resources and changes in working conditions” to favor conciliation and presence in the environment.

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