Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Militant police sound warning

Published:Tuesday | March 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Members of the Police Federation hold talks at the finance ministry yesterday. From left: Cpl Arlene McBean, Sgt David Bugle, Sgt Cecil McCalla, Cpl Rohan James and Det Constable Tamika Thomas.

Rank-and-file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force have joined the island's teachers in challenging the salary increase proposed by Finance Minister Audley Shaw for the next four years.

In a release yesterday, the Jamaica Police Federation, which represents the rank-and-file members of the force, said it was "deeply concerned and extremely disappointed" with the public utterances made by Shaw regarding what it deemed an erroneous calculation of 34 per cent over four years for salaries and the payment of retroactive wages to public-sector workers as at March 2018.

"The Central Committee of the Jamaica Police Federation met with the Government on several occasions, the last being on March 7, 2018, and the issue of the erroneous 34 per cent was never placed on the table," said Sergeant Cecil McCalla, chairman of the federation.

"If so, that would have been vigorously refuted. What is being purported as a 34 per cent increase over the four years is fundamentally flawed."

"If the salary increase is 34 per cent over the next four years, a calculation would allow you to subtract the proposed 10 per cent (incremental increase) which would not be beneficial to the majority of the rank-and-file members," explained McCalla, "then subtract eight per cent (increase in PAYE threshold to $1.5 million, which was already paid in 2016 and was not beneficial to all members), thereafter the remainder is the meagre 16 per cent over four years that we have already rejected."

In a warning sounding similar to one issued by the island's teachers last Friday, McCalla said the federation "will be unceasing in their efforts to protect their rights and explore all possible options to secure the protectors of Jamaica".