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'Sick cops cannot go back to work', says alleged police union statement

Published:Wednesday | June 3, 2015 | 1:17 PMJovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

The Gleaner has received communication reportedly from the Police Federation advising protesting members that 'sick cops cannot go back to work'.

According to the statement, doing so could result in charges being brought against them.

The statement, believed to be from the leadership of the police union, is also dismissive of the warning from the government over a court injunction ordering protesting cops to end their industrial action.

More than 1,000 rank and file members of the 11,000-member Jamaica Constabulary Force have been calling in sick since Monday evening and since the court order, our news centre continues to receive reports that police divisions are still under-staffed and struggling.

However, the message from the police union suggests that the 'sick' cops should take their time to get better.

"You may have heard about an injunction filed against the executives of the Police Federation by the Government for the Police to desist from protesting. What protest are they talking about, Police Officers are sick and sick persons cannot go back to work until they get better, so the government instructions does (sic) not stand", read the message

It added that "any member who resumes duty before their sick leave is up can be charged for Malingering. Sick leave issued by a doctor, under the Medical Act of Jamaica has satisfied all the requirements of your current employment."

In a communication obtained Monday hinting of the industrial action, the union warned of a 'hurricane', a code word for five-days of sick leave.

Attorney General, Patrick Atkinson, has said that failure of the cops to comply with the terms of the Supreme Court Order will result in their being in contempt of court and liable to having their assets confiscated.

The police are protesting to press demands for an improved wage offer from the government.

The police union and government negotiators are to meet Friday afternoon for further wage talks.