Take back the $1,000

The special duty allowance was given to policemen shortly after the Peoples Partnership Government assumed the reins of power following victory in the May 24 General Election.

A defiant Sgt Ramesar noted the refusal of Lewis to accede to their 40 percent salary demand.

He claimed police are being placed under unnecessary stress. Ramesar accused Government of betraying police saying no price can be too high in ensuring the country’s security.

“The Prime Minister’s articulation on the $1,000 given to police officers in October...we reject her opinion that this represents a salary increase. Salary increases are dealt with by the CPO and this is not a payment connected with terms and conditions, Ramesar said.

“We remind the honourable Prime Minister of our complaint about the $5,000 additional allowances to officers of the Special Anti-Crime Unit (SAUTT) and it is in that context we understand why the $1,000 payment was made.”

Yesterday’s meeting was aborted after Lewis refused to budge from her five percent wage offer.

The meeting started at 10 am and was aborted 20 minutes later. Sgt Ramesar and his executive left the CPO’s office and headed to the association’s office where they met in a closed door session to discuss their next course of action.

The association will be having an emergency meeting of all members at 1 pm tomorrow. Speaking to reporters on the salary issue on Tuesday night during her tour of several Carnival mas camps, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it pained her that she could not pay public servants including police officers 100 percent, but the sad reality is that the country’s economic status does not allow for such expenditure.

Ramesar yesterday said Persad-Bissessar’s comment that the five percent wage increase stands, was one of the “most devastating blows” to the morale of police officers. On Monday a large number of officers stayed off the job, crippling operations at courthouses and causing vital patrols in crime hot-spots to be cancelled.


"Take back the $1,000"

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