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Police Federation threatens strong action if wage dispute not settled this month

Corporal Rohan James, Chairman of the Police Federation
 
The wage dispute involving the Police Federation and the ministries of finance and national security is deepening with the federation now threatening strong action if the matter is not addressed this month.
 
Corporal Rohan James, Chairman of the Federation, has given a January 27 deadline for the matter to be settled.  
 
He says the Federation is prepared to send a strong signal to the government if there is no settlement by that date. 
 
"The Minister of Finance seems to be naïve when it comes on to welfare and well-being. You cannot continue wage theft as the government has been doing. You deprive the employee of time, leave and incentives so as to grow your net international reserves. That’s wage theft. That’s a breach of the labour law, and it cannot continue," he contended while speaking Friday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
 
"I’m using this medium to warn the government that come the 27th of this month, the federation is prepared to send the strongest message ever on any platform to the government, so that not only Jamaica will benefit, the citizens will benefit and those in the diaspora who are living in fear must benefit. Come the 27th, it will be made known," he warned.  
 
Quizzed further about what action would be taken if the deadline is missed, Corporal James said he "will not say at this time". 
 
April 4 and April 5 have been set as the dates for the wage dispute to be heard in the Supreme Court after the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding the payment of overtime to rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. 
 
The Police Federation filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the two ministries, 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.
 
Added to their wage concerns, Corporal James said almost 500 members have been experiencing mental health challenges due to the pressures of  their job.
 
"Some of these officers are bottling up what is affecting them, and you are seeing some signs. These things are playing out even when services are being rendered to members of the public. You may have seen, even in the discourse of duties, where...officers may utter certain things. It is not as a result of anything less than depression, you know. It comes in so many forms," he explained. 
 
Corporal James said more members have been turning up to the Chaplaincy branch for other support. 
 
 


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