Gov't playing with national security, says police unionWednesday, November 24, 2021
BY JASON CROSS
Government is being accused by chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation Corporal Rohan James of playing with the national security by refusing to pay salaries owed to rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for overtime and other work done since 2008.
James told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that his colleagues are not only upset about the Government's recent four per cent wage increase offer that they deem unacceptable, but are also unhappy with working conditions.
“We are not getting the resources and the support. The recent wage offer was four per cent and we are further irate that the Government, our employer, has seen it fit, since we have a 2008 heads of agreement and they owed us a sum total of money, that they are merely going to give us only two years' worth of that 13 years of money and they expect us to just sacrifice that,” he said, pointing out that inflation is at 8.5 per cent and intimated that a four per cent increase is thus inadequate.
“So we must continue to subsidise national security? It cannot work, and will not work. The fact of the matter is that we will have to protect our manpower, our body and mindset, since they are unable to pay. We will allow the Government to work out with the citizens where their priority lies,” he said, taking jabs at the Administration for placing most of its attention on tackling COVID-19, while ignoring the safety and security of Jamaicans.
“Similar to how you treat COVID-19 as priority, national security must be treated as priority. The time has come for the Government to stop playing around with national security. We can do much more if we are given the support, resources and remuneration. The rank and file have not failed this nation. It is our political directorate that lacks will,” James said.
“We cannot continue to live in fear. Jamaica is not in a civil war and we have in excess of 1,300 lives being lost and it has not dawned on our employer to give the Jamaica Constabulary Force the resources and remuneration. Before COVID-19 we were already being abused, ostracised, under-resourced and our job description has increased exponentially,” he said.
James also said that the Government should stop pretending that it regards national security as important while giving the security forces “basket to carry water”.