JIS News

The 2004/06 heads of agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the United District Constables Association, was signed at the Ministry of Finance and Planning this morning (Nov. 21).
Under the agreement, the district constables will receive some of the provisions accorded to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) earlier this month, including a one off payment of $50,000, a $50,000 increase in death benefits and a $500,000 increase in funeral grants.
Head of the Ministry’s Industrial Relations Unit, Winston Scott explained to JIS News that for the $50,000 one off payment, the first amount of $25,000 would be made in December, with the remaining $25,000 to be paid in February 2006. However, he noted that for part time district constables, payments would be based on hours worked.
In his remarks, State Minister of Finance and Planning, Fitz Jackson said the signing was an important occasion that marked “the culmination of a long process with the island’s security services throughout the country…and the district constables are one important element of the security service arrangement”.
He noted that while all the relevant provisions accorded to JCF would be extended to the district constables, some provisions such as uniform allowances, education and relocation grants, would not apply.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jackson noted that the Ministry would be working closely with the Ministry of National Security in its efforts to streamline the ISCF and to reorganize the security services on the whole. He said district constables were an integral arm of this exercise as they represented security provision at the community level.
“You (district constables) provide the ability and the capacity to provide a sort of personalized service to the public as part of the security system and we recognize and appreciate the value of what you do,” Mr. Jackson said, assuring that, “in the ensuing years, you will see some significant changes to deal with some of the issues that you have indicated”.
Mr. Jackson pointed out that although this arm of the Force was established to complement the JCF, over time, more was demanded of district constables and as such, the job had become a full time one.
While expressing approval of the signing of the contract, President of the United District Constables Association, Thelma Hall said, “we do hope that at the end of this, our members will be satisfied because we work along the regular members very hard and we think we should get the same benefit as the other arms of the force. I do hope that when the 2006 negotiations have started, we will be satisfied”.

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