• JIS News

    A new two-year wage agreement (2008 to 2010), was signed yesterday (Sept.11), between the Government and the Jamaica Police Federation, during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, National Heroes Circle offices.
    Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator Dwight Nelson, noted that the 40-hour work week provision, which requires that police personnel who work excess hours be paid an allowance in place of overtime, was one of the key areas of the 2008/10 wage agreement. This he explains will be retroactive to April, 2008.
    “I honestly don’t think that there is any other group in the public sector who under normal circumstances are forced to work the extensive hours that members of the Police Force are forced to work. We have decided that it is totally unacceptable, in a context where we subscribe to the United Nations philosophy of decent work,” he stated.
    Other highlights include the agreement between the Ministry of National Security and the Police Federation, for the introduction of arrangements, which will allow members of the Constabulary Force to engage in “extra work”; as well as benefits for the development of personnel, including education grants, especially for tertiary level education.
    Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, stated that he was pleased that the Government was able to come to an agreement with the Federation.
    “It breaks new ground in the sense that while it doesn’t fully incorporate all of what was probably needed in terms of the additional increments, it is a start. I want to thank you for coming to an agreement so we can get on with the business of doing what your mandate requires to serve and to protect,” Mr Shaw said.
    He also noted that over the next six months, the Force will receive some 200 new vehicles of different types such as utility pick-ups and motor cars.
    “We also want to ensure that we put aside adequate resources to improve the working conditions because we are aware of the parlous state of so many of our police stations island wide. This year some $900 million has been set aside and is now being spent (on) six new police stations and to repair probably close to 30 additional police stations,” Mr Shaw added.
    Meanwhile, Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan, noted that he was pleased that the Government has reached an amicable agreement with the police.
    Chairman of the Federation, Corporal Raymond Wilson, also stated that he was pleased with the way the wage negotiations had taken place.