Finally!

Police Federation accepts four-year compensation contract

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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THE Jamaica Police Federation (JPF) yesterday signed a new heads of agreement with the Ministry of Finance and Planning, ending months of tough negotiations.

Both Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke and chairperson for the federation, Corporal Arleen McBean, were tight-lipped in response to questions from the press about the sudden change of heart, but admitted to two positive developments.

Dr Clarke, meanwhile, was optimistic that the Government would be in a position to establish a special tribunal to hear claims from the federation outside of the general negotiations between the ministry and government employees.

He said his view was that the members of the police force, particularly those in the federation, should not have to engage in “rounds and rounds and roof negotiations over salaries and compensation.

He said the Government hoped that it would graduate to a situation where there is a commission that is representative of both the police and the Government, and which consists of persons who can understand and represent both the interest of the Government and the police.

He said that the commission would review information and submissions and make recommendations that the Government would have to stand by.

“That, to me, would be more consistent with the respect that we want to afford to members of police force,” Dr Clarke said.

He said too, that he was very encouraged with the endorsement of the idea by Corporal McBean.

Corporal McBean confirmed that the police would be paid the first two years of the retroactive pay which would be owed under the four-year agreement for a 16 per cent pay increase for Government workers, which had already been agreed to by some 80 per cent of the workers.

The agreement by the police has now raised the number of workers in agreement with the 16 per cent increase over the four years to 91 per cent.

The Government's wage package for its employees over the four years of the agreement reads as follows: five per cent for 2017/18, two per cent for 2018/19, four per cent for 2019/20 and five five per cent for 2010/21.

The compensation package has already cost over US$200 billion, with most workers being paid their retroactive wages up to December 2017.

Dr Clarke said yesterday that the outstanding group included much smaller bargaining units and that it expected, with the latest developments, that the Government would be able to meet the long-delayed nine per cent of gross domestic product agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

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