Police Federation ticked off by delay in wage talks
"Disgraceful!" is the word used by chairman of the Police Federation, Corporal Arlene McBean, to describe a letter from Minister of Finance Nigel Clarke stating that he was unable to give a date for the continuation of wage negotiations for rank-and-file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
"We are waiting in limbo, and this cannot work. It cannot be that you have hard-working persons, rank-and-file members, every day toiling and sweating and ensuring that there is a reduction in crime and citizens are safe, and you are unable to continue a process? Sending a vague letter like that, that you are unable to supply a date, is unacceptable, it's disgraceful, to say the least," said McBean.
In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, McBean said a letter was sent to the federation on August 17 from the Ministry of Finance and Public Service, which stated that it will be unable to accede to their request to continue the negotiation process. The federation had proposed September 7 for talks to resume.
"Stop mocking the process of negotiation. The Government promised us that they will continue these negotiations in good faith, and they have tarnished that promise. It is unacceptable and it is a disgrace! It cannot be that we continue on this path; it's a path to destruction of all our finances. It is important they yield to our call," said McBean.
The federation has been at the negotiation table for a year. The Government had proposed a value of $122 per day on average for four years for the sergeants, corporals and constables.
"It is inconceivable that the Government of Jamaica believes that an overworked and underpaid police force portrays prosperity in an uncertain economic environment. This we classify as a mockery encapsulated with lip service and empty promises," the chairman stated.