Police plight

FRUSTRATION is being expressed by the Police Officers’ Association (POA) as it awaits talks with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in settling at a better wage offer for gazetted officers in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

Gazetted officers of the JCF hold the ranks of assistant superintendent of police up to commissioner of police. The POA, however, represents assistant superintendent of police up to deputy commissioner of police posts.

Chairman of the POA Senior Superintendent of Police Wayne Cameron said, to date, there has been no word from the finance ministry about a compensation negotiation, which has left the POA to form the view that “the ministry has shut down the negotiations”.

“Even with our attempt to reach out to the ministry, we have not heard anything else. We just want to make it known that the concerns we highlighted must be given attention and we are ready to continue with the process, in support of the Jamaica Police Federation, and the District Constables Association. We are ready to go forward,” Cameron said.

“I will also have to highlight the fact that the POA’s membership is getting anxious and have been getting a number of calls and queries as to where we are going with this,” he added.

Cameron also pointed out that after the finance ministry sent an improved compensation proposal on November 16, 2022, there were concerns among the members.

A letter from the POA dated December 5, 2022 shared with the Jamaica Observer pointed to the concerns expressed by the group and a proposed meeting date that was set for December 7, 2022 for further negotiations.

Among the concerns was the reduction of a six-point pay scale to a five-point pay scale for the assistant superintendent of police position.

“There were two other major concerns that we have highlighted as well and we formally responded to the Ministry of Finance, subsequent to our POA conference, highlighting these concerns and establishing the fact that we are ready to be called back to the negotiations table,” Cameron told the Observer.

At the same time, Cameron pointed out that there are posts on social media which are worsening the anxiety among the police officers.

“The most recent circular has to do with a revision of some sections of the compensation review motor vehicle policy. This has not been discussed with the POA, and so for the impact on the Jamaica Constabulary Force we don’t know what that will be and we cannot countenance anything of that nature until we go back to the negotiation table,” said Cameron.

Generated by Feedzy