Wilson urges Gov't to cool off on public comments
The Police Federation yesterday urged the Government to refrain from making public pronouncements on any new wage agreement before the start of the negotiating process.
The call by chairman of the Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, came in response to comments made by Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips last week.
Phillips indicated that there have not been any changes in the financial resources available to the Government and warned public-sector employees that the negotiations for a new wage pact for the 2012-2014 wage period could be very difficult.
Speaking before a meeting of delegates at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston yesterday, Wilson said the Federation acknowledged that the country was facing financial challenges.
"What we are hoping is that long before any pronouncement is made that we sit, that we look at the issues that are tabled and we find amicable ways of settling them," Wilson said.
"We cannot forget that we have workers on the ground who have individual challenges, who have families to feed," he continued.
Wilson said the Federation, which represents rank-and-file police personnel, is prepared to sit with the Government to discuss whatever is proposed.
As an example, he pointed to what he labelled as the "benefits package" the Federation accepted for the 2010-2012 contract period
"We want to make it clear that we are ready, willing and able to get to the table to review that which has been proposed to see what is the best result that can come to satisfy all of us," Wilson said.
Yesterday's meeting was also used to discuss several issues affecting rank-and-file police personnel. Among them, he said, were pension reforms and the long hours police personnel are required to work.
"We really need for our police officers, especially given the strain of the job and the conditions under which we have to work sometimes, to be treated like other workers in this country are treated," he emphasised.