Cops disappointed: Still no settlement for overtime pay issue

Corporal Rohan James, Chairman of the Police Federation, and police officers who were in protest outside the Supreme Court
Rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were left disappointed on Thursday after there was no resolution on the payment of overtime monies owed since 2008.
Lawyers for the Police Federation returned to the court to hear whether the government had agreed to clear the debt.
But when the matter come up in court, a pre-trial review was set for December 16.
The matter will go to trial between January 7 and April next year, if there is no agreement.
Reacting to the outcome of the hearing, Corporal Rohan James, Chairman of the Police Federation, said the government had again reneged on its responsibility "by failing to deliver on its promise to have this matter settled and for a consent judgment to be issued by the court today". 
"It is with disappointment that I have to report to the membership that the matter have been adjourned until the 16th of December, where we will be trying to ensure that at least the government will be able to come up with a resolution because we are not gonna be backing down from monies worked and owed," he declared.  
He contended: "The government has maintained that they are merely prepared to pay from 2018 to now, and we know that the government is owing for 2008 to now. So of 13 years, the government merely wants to appreciate three years, for which we are not willing to accept." 
The Police Federation filed the lawsuit in 2019 against the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Security, the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner, complaining that its members have been working more than 40 hours per week without being paid.
The Federation argued that this was in breach of the 2008 heads of agreement.
Scores of rank and file officers, clad in red and black, on Thursday morning gathered outside the Supreme Court building in downtown Kingston, some bearing placards as they demanded payment.
A policeman, who asked not to be named, told Radio Jamaica News he was happy with the show of solidarity. 
"We believe that if we are more united, we might get a better response from the government. So, I'm just bringing myself here to show that we want to be united. We want what is ours and as much as possible, we want it to be given to us in a timely manner," he said. 
As the protesting cops continued to wait for word on the outcome of the matter, they chanted, "Weh wi duh? Fed up!...Weh wi want? Money!"
Another officer who spoke with Radio Jamaica News, pleaded for the government to "give us a reasonable offer so we can take care of our family. We have children going to school as well, just like every other government-paid person".
A passerby, Jennifer, who is a resident of Central Kingston, also spoke on behalf of the officers, urging the government to give them "anything dem ask for, any percentage, any raise" because they worked hard and deserved it. 

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