Saturday 20 July, 2019

Police federation calls for ‘livable wages’ and an end to ‘slavery’

Corporal Arleen McBean

Corporal Arleen McBean

The Jamaica Police Federation has described the latest wage offer from the Government for the contract period 2017 to 2019 as being “disrespectful and a total disregard for the very hardworking rank and file members’ sacrifice and service to the citizens of Jamaica.

In a statement that was issued to the media on Monday, Chairman of the federation, Corporal Arleen McBean, said it is “undoubtedly clear that the Government is not serious about the survivability and enhanced sustainability of law enforcement officers and the need for a livable wage.”

She described the Government’s posture in its ongoing wage negotiations with the federation as a “take-it-or-leave-it chorale”.

McBean branded the Government’s approach as being “tantamount to the reintroduction of slavery,” and said “that must be abolished”.

The federation’s statement comes within the context of a three-day sickout within its ranks late last year, as the cops flexed their muscles in defiance of the Government’s stance on the wage negotiations then.

Following the sickout, however, most of the unions representing public sector workers accepted the overall wage offer from the Government with a few groups, including the rank and file cops, still fighting the issue.

McBean said while the rank and file members of the police force “are mindful of the economic climate (in the country), we continue to experience the indignation of price erosion and uncertainty in our spending power.”

The release said the federation’s membership will not accept anything less than a “deserving, livable wage that will improve our standard of living”.

The federation said over time it has acceded to the popular phrase to ‘hold strain’, but it now believes that “enough is enough”.

In rejecting the latest wage offer from the Government, the federation said: “We will not allow history to repeat itself where this trajectory of genuine recognition for respectable remuneration has been marginalised for many years and still exists in the recent adjusted offer from the Government of Jamaica.”

McBean said the federation’s membership remains restive and urgently needs “a meaningful and amicable closure to this longstanding impasse”.

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