Tension rises as cops demand Government 'immediately' settle overtime payment matterThursday, October 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are reportedly tense, as they demand that the Government of Jamaica "immediately" settle the vexed issue of outstanding wages due to them since 2008.
The wages, according to a statement from the Jamaica Police Federation, is for overtime work rendered and required of police officers, for which "payment has been outstanding since 2008".
The police federation says "tension continues to rise as rank and file officers continue to "await a fair and reasonable offer from the government".
Thursday's statement noted that the Central Committee of the Jamaica Police Federation through its' attorney, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown QC, was "forced" to file court action on March 30, 2020, "demanding" payment after all attempts at a compromise failed.
"While the Government of Jamaica has in principle acknowledged its obligation to pay police officers for this sacrificial service and the Jamaica Police Federation has again put forward a compromise settlement proposal, we are yet to receive formal response from the relevant government departments, having been told that a counter proposal would have been revised by now and the matter prior to the next scheduled court date of November 25, 2021," the statement said.
The last hearing of the case, which was held on September 23 of this year, had to be postponed, as the federation had not received the promised settlement offer.
"On that date," according to the statement, "The lawyer for the government, attorney-at-law, Ms Althea Jarrett QC, informed the court that her instructions were that a settlement offer would be sent to the federation's lawyer by the first week in October."
No offer has, however, been received to date, asserted the Corporal Rohan James-led police federation.
The federation added: "While we await fair compensation for our members, the airwaves have been flooded by news of millions of dollars missing from the public purse which have not, and it appears cannot be accounted for."
Against that background, the police federation is calling on the "relevant government departments" to put forward "a fair and just settlement offer" for its members.
"The police federation continues to encourage its hard-working members to remain focused, but notes members are out of patience and are demanding an immediate settlement," the statement said.