The officers had given a clear mandate to the Police Second Division Association executive to persuade the CPO to offer them a 40-percent increase in salary, but the CPO has already indicated that the five-percent offer stands.
There are over 5,000 members of the Police Social and Welfare Association, and yesterday police officers indicated to Sunday Newsday that mass absenteeism will take effect from tomorrow.
Officers added that staying away from work from Monday will be the first step to indicate to the authorities that they are no longer prepared to sit back and settle for what they described as “a waste of time” salary increase.
Officers pointed out that the cost of living has gone up, but their salaries have remained the same and they want better wages if they are to assist in the fight against crime.
Some officers will also embark on a plan to desist from working overtime, and will not make themselves available for police exercises when they are called upon to report for duties.
The police service currently has a manpower shortage of over 1,500 officers, and is operating with less than half of its actual strength.
Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs has already indicated that police officers who carry out desk duties will be reassigned to fighting crime, and this will take place shortly.
Yesterday, president of the Police Second Division Association Sgt Anand Ramesar confirmed to Sunday Newsday that he has been hearing of plans by police officers, especially in Tobago, to stay away from the job on Monday, and his association has been trying to convince members of using alternative measures to get the CPO to improve the wage increase.
He said, “I would advise the relevant stakeholders, including the Commissioner of Police, the Minister of National Security, and the Prime Minister, to take a look at the Facebook page of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Social and Welfare Association and pay attention to the comments being made by some members, which in my view, identifies a strong determination to express their feelings of betrayal and disgust by the Chief Personnel Officer to bring to the table a reasonable offer.”