Açoriano Oriental reports that the Bloco de Esquerda has warned of a lack of lighthouse keepers in the Azores
The party are claiming that there are 27 when 34 would be needed, and claimed the urgent opening of a new competition for training.
“Currently, in the Azores, there are 27 lighthouse keepers working for 16 lighthouses, when at least 34 lighthouse keepers would be needed. However, despite this urgency already being identified, there is an impasse created by the Ministry of Finance, which is slow to give authorization for the opening of a new competition for training lighthouse keepers”, advanced the party, in a press release.
According to BE, which has two deputies in the Legislative Assembly of the Azores, “if the course is not opened by the end of 2023, the respective certification will be lost”.
“It will further delay the training and hiring of these professionals who are essential to guarantee the safety of maritime navigation”, he underlined.
The party alleges that the situation has been dragging on “for several years”, but “it will become more complicated in the near future because some of the current professionals will stop practising because they reach retirement age”.
“The lack of lighthouse keepers is jeopardizing the rights of professionals working in the Azores. Since the lighthouses are equipment that must always be operational, the reduced number of lighthouse keepers means that only two professionals alternate between shifts, which causes great difficulties in the case of holidays, days off, illness or parental leave, for example. example”, he stressed.
In the Assembly of the Republic, Bloco de Esquerda presented a request to question the Ministry of Defense about the steps it has taken or intends to take “to ensure an effective increase in the number of lighthouse keepers in the Azores”.
The party also asked what measures the Government has adopted “so that the order for the opening of a new training course for lighthouse keepers is urgently issued, taking into account that the respective certification ends at the end of the current year”, “how many vacancies will this new course and how long it lasts”.
In the application, signed by the deputy Joana Mortágua, BE also asked “What measures are being implemented, with regard to the review of the professional situation of lighthouse keepers, in order to ensure their valorization”.
“It is unacceptable that the working conditions of these workers are deteriorating. Not only is there an urgent need to reinforce the staff – which has been neglected -, but also the professional development of lighthouse keepers. The mission assigned to them is of great importance and it is fundamental justice that they are ensured of working conditions that are adequate to their functions and correspond to an effective professional development”, reads the document.