Police accept 9% pay hike

PORT OF SPAIN — Police officers can look forward to handsome backpay for Christmas as the majority have finally indicated their willingness to accept a nine per cent wage increase.

Secretary of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association, Sergeant Michael Seales, said yesterday the offer was made by Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis on Monday.

Lewis, he said, agreed to pay the nine per cent increase with a breakdown of three per cent for 2008, another three per cent for 2009, and three per cent for 2010. A few months ago, however, the general council of the Police Association had rejected a nine per cent increase.

Seales said officers would meet in a special general council meeting on Friday to finalise whether the offer would be accepted but from all indications officers were willing to settle.

“From the responses we have been getting from officers on Facebook and from feedback from other officers in discussions they seem happy about the offer and are willing to accept the nine per cent,” Seales added.

He said at a central committee meeting earlier this week, a large number of officers also were ready to accept nine per cent. When Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) was added, Seales added, the figure would increase to between 11 and 12 per cent.

He said: “When COLA is added to the nine per cent that was offered that would make a big difference as it would push the offer to a higher figure. “But a final figure would depend on the salary range of each officer.”

The association already had requested additional payroll staff to facilitate the speedy payment of backpay.

“We would definitely like officers to get backpay by Christmas. We would have had discussions with senior police officers to put resources in place to ensure everything is in place and there are no glitches in backpay payments. We want police officers to start the new year with a bang,” Seales added.

The association had rejected any further talks with the CPO with respect to salary negotiations and asked then Minister of Finance Winston Dookeran to refer salary negotiations to the Industrial Court. (Guardian)

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