Dr Clarke, who is attending the Sixth Special Meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning in Barbados, emphasised that the assertion that he “will be unable to accede to our (Federation) request to continue the negotiation process in good faith” is a misrepresentation of the communication between the Ministry and the Jamaica Police Federation.
The Finance Minister notes that in response to the Federation’s request (letter dated July 31, 2018) for an urgent meeting during the week commencing 06 August, the Ministry advised that “unfortunately, we are unable to convene a meeting within the time requested. The Ministry will communicate a date for the continuation of the discussions at the earliest possible time.”
Dr Clarke observes that it is unfortunate that this has been misinterpreted as it is the Ministry’s stated position to continue the negotiations. He wishes to assure the Jamaica Police Federation that he will meet with them subsequent to his return to the island on Wednesday (September 5) with a view to moving the negotiation process forward.
The Jamaica Police Federation had accused the Government of making a mockery of the wage negotiation process and warned of the members being “very restive.”
“The Jamaica Police Federation demanded that the Government stop the mockery of the negotiation process for the contract period 2017-2019, and continue the wage talks no later than Friday, September 7, 2018,” said federation Chairman, Corporal Arleen McBean, on Monday.
The assertion of mockery follows what the federation said was “recent correspondence that was received from the Ministry of Finance and Public Service that the Minister of Finance, Dr Nigel Clarke, will be unable to accede to our request to continue the negotiation process in good faith, which is unacceptable.”
McBean said the rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have been experiencing high levels of destitution and indignation because of what she contended was the lackadaisical approach being taken by the Government.
“The proposed value of $122.00 per day on average for four years for the sergeants, corporals and constables is extremely disgraceful and insulting, based on the consistent efforts and sacrifices of the rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force,” declared McBean.
“It is inconceivable that the Government of Jamaica believes that an overworked and underpaid police force portrays prosperity in an uncertain economic environment,” she said, seemingly in direct reference to the Administration’s main political mantra of creating ‘prosperity’ since coming to office in 2016.
“This we classify as a mockery encapsulated with lip service and empty promises,” McBean added in a news release.
She said the federation is to hold a series of consultations with its members on the way forward in their wage negotiation with the Government.
She said the rank and file members of the JCF are “very restive”, adding that “enough is enough”.
Unlike the federation and a handful of other public sector group representatives, the Government employees have long signed off on the Government’s latest wage offer, with very little, if any, room left for any adjustments, as a uniform offer is expected to be applied across the board within the public service.
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