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French police asked for extra pay during Paris Olympics. They will get bonuses of up to $2,000

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January 30, 2024
By The Associated Press

Police officers demonstrate with flags turning the olympic rings as handcuffs during a demonstration Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Paris. Police officers held a protest action in Paris as police unions said officers who will be working during the Paris Olympics have no guarantee that they'll be able to take vacation during summer and get a compensation package. A massive security operation is planned for the Games, with tens of thousands of police and soldiers deployed. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Police officers deployed during the Paris Olympics will receive bonuses of up to 1,900 euros ($2,050), French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday in reaction to protests.

Police unions worried about working conditions during the Olympic Games from July 26-Aug. 11 and the Paralympics that follow organized protests and work stoppages this month for better pay and guarantees of holiday leave and childcare this summer.

Darmanin wrote to police staff that employees from the Interior Ministry will receive an exceptional bonus for working during the security operation that is unprecedented in scale for France. Tens of thousands of police officers, thousands of soldiers, and private security staff will be deployed.

“I want your extraordinary investment to be rightly recognized. I want you to know that you can count on me personally,” Darmanin wrote.

To compensate their mobilization, staff who limit their summer leave for the Olympics will receive a bonus of 1,000 euros ($1,080). This incentive will rise to 1,600 euros ($1,730) if they work in an area hosting an Olympic event. Staff deployed in the Paris region, Paris airport border police and international transport services will get an extra 300 euros ($320) for a total of 1,900 euros.

Darmanin said he wants 100% of staffers to be mobilized from July 24-Aug. 11 but promised that outside this period every employee will be guaranteed at least two weeks off in the period from June 15-Sept. 15.

“We also owe a special debt of gratitude to your families,” Darmanin said. “I have asked the prefects to mobilize local public services to make the care of the children of ministry employees a priority during the Games.”

The security challenge ahead of the Olympics was highlighted when a tourist was killed in a knife attack near the Eiffel Tower on Dec. 2. Large-scale attacks — such as at the Bataclan in 2015 when Islamic extremists invaded the music hall and shot up cafe terraces, killing 130 people — also loom in the memory.

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