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JCF benefits to be improved

Published:Friday | May 17, 2013 | 1:43 PM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer



Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, has outlined several benefits that his ministry is seeking to provide for the men and women of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.




Addressing the 70th Annual Joint Central Conferences of the Jamaica Police Federation in St Ann yesterday Bunting said that among the benefits would be an injection of $20 million into the force’s Legal Defence Fund, increases in funeral grants and death benefits and compensation for work done on holidays.



The announcements came even as the police continue to resist signing the general public sector agreement which sees public sector workers agreeing to a wage freeze in return for a 2.5 per cent per increment and a cash lump sum of $25,000 per annum.



However, Bunting pointed out that public sector bodies that have not signed would not be allowed to gain benefits above what those who have signed are getting.



The Police Federation currently assists the Legal Defence Fund, which was established to help pay attorney fees for officers who have been charged while carrying out their duties.



Bunting said because the slow pace of the country’s legal system an officer charged may have to find millions of dollars to pay attorneys. 



Bunting said the government is willing to increase funeral grants from 100 thousand to 300 thousand dollars for officers who die in-service and of natural causes.

For those who die on duty, he said the grant will move from 220 thousand to 500 thousand, noting that death benefits will also be increased by 1 million dollars.



Bunting also disclosed that all police men and women would have access to ballistic vests and helmets during this financial year.



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