JIS News

The official signing of the 2006/08 wage agreement between the Government and the United District Constables Association of Jamaica (UDCAJ), took place today (November 1), at the Ministry of Finance and Planning’s head offices situated at National Heroes Circle.
Under the agreement, the district constables have received a 25 per cent increase in salaries that is in line with what was offered to other policing associations. However, five new benefits have been added to the agreement signed with the district constables. These include an education grant for dependent children who have a ‘B+’ average and need to further their education; an allowance to the constables themselves to pursue tertiary studies; service pay that is similar to the district constables’ counterparts within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); and an adjustment in the gratuity period, wherein persons with long years of service will be appropriately compensated. Minister of State in the Ministry, Fitz Jackson, in his address at the ceremony, said he was elated with the signing, given that the government’s negotiation exercise with UDCAJ had been amicable and culminated in the agreement at hand.
Mr. Jackson pointed out that the history of the relationship between the government and the Association had been one of balance, and while for the most part, it was typically without incident, challenges which have been faced were always dealt with in a cordial manner.
Meanwhile, President of the UDCAJ, Harold Francis pledged that the Association would work assiduously with their counterparts in the JCF and members of different Ministries to achieve the goal of restoring district constables to the former glory they once enjoyed as integral and respected authority figures in communities.
“We pledge to (give our) support and we have seen the fruits so far in our first negotiation and at the start of this, we can only say there are better things to come,” the President added.
In the meantime, the State Minister gave a commitment that following the signing of the contract with the UDCAJ, as well as other policing groups, the Finance Ministry would be seeking to have quarterly meetings with them to ensure that there is continuity with the points of agreement.
Besides the UDCAJ, the Ministry has negotiated with four other policing bodies – the Island Special Constabulary Force Officers Association; Island Special Constabulary Force Officers Association (Rank and File); Jamaica Police Federation; and the Police Officers Association.