There’s a’trouble brewing with the fire brigade of Almeria city.
In short, the firemen have been complaining about being overstretched – not enough personnel or equipment. The Ayuntamiento counters this argument by saying that they are trying to recruit more personnel but it’s a long process training firemen.
And now the Councilor for Hacienda (taxes) said in a public statement that he is “suspicious” of the amount of sick leave the firemen are taking. It’s running at a constant 20%, and he publicly declared that he thought most of it was fraudulent.
This has, as you can image, caused a severe backlash from both the fire brigade and the doctor in charge of them (all sick leaves are being passed through the same doctor, which the Councilor was also complaining about). The UGT (their union) spokesman said that this was an “own goal” and a blatant attempt to shift the blame for lack of workers from the town hall to the fire brigade.
This promises to provide good fun over the next few weeks – there is much muttering about strikes and the like.