An insult to the police
THE EDITOR, Sir:
It may sound ridiculous, but it is a fact that many police officers would not be able to buy a patty daily from the increase in salary based on the Government's initial wage offer to rank and file members of the force.
The Government's initial wage offer was a three per cent increase in salary in year one and another three per cent in year two. There was no proposed additional allowances, nor for any increase in existing ones.
A three per cent increase in basic salary of $60,000 monthly (which many receive) means an extra $1,800.
But what is the reality of this salary increase in relation to improving living standards or basic survival?
At the basic level, human beings focus primarily on food, danger, and sex. Police officers are constantly exposed to danger because they put their lives on the line to protect citizens and are a target for criminals on and off duty. They have to be ready, fit, and alert at all times. Key factors ensuring fitness are proper nutrition and rest. Police officers work extended hours without overtime pay.
Regarding food, most Jamaicans can relate to a patty. We nourish our bodies not monthly, but daily. The additional $1,800 monthly amounts to $60 daily. This cannot buy even half a patty which costs about $150! The reconfigured proposal of a four per cent salary increase in year one will only mean $80 extra daily.
Is this seriously the best the Government is willing to do?
Daive R Facey.