Since 2002, people working for the government are entitled to a so-called "Corpernicus bonus", which is a kind of extra holiday pay.
The federal government decided that the bonus would not apply to police officers, but the police trades union Sypol took the matter to court and won the case.
The court's decision means that the federal government has to come up with some 370 million euros now. "We first decided to negotiate with the government, but they just ignored our request", Jan-Piet Callens of Sypol explains. "The government can still take the matter to the court of appeal, but we think that this is unlikely as we have strong arguments."
Annemie Turtelboom, the Interior Minister of the government of current affairs (Flemish liberal), calls the court's decision "an important signal" and wants to discuss the matter in the government. The news comes at a very inconvenient moment for the government in times of financial cuts.