President of the Police Welfare Association Martin James is puzzled as to why he is being lambasted for signing onto government’s four-percent wage package, a move which has reportedly put the Trade Union Federation (TUF) in a bind.
James has defending the decision noting that he was simply carrying out the wishes of his members. He said the TUF was informed of the PWA’s decision last Monday, March 4.
TUF President Julian Monrose said the move by the PWA has stunned the executive and placed the umbrella grouping in a vulnerable position as it prepares to head back to the negotiating table with government. But James is equally taken aback, saying that the TUF was informed by him that officers had mandated the PWA to take the deal.
James said his association took into consideration the fiscal situation in the country, the region and internationally. He added that member countries of the Caribbean Federation of Police Welfare Associations have had to compromise on negotiations as well. In addition, James said police officers were not confident that they would come out at the winning end if the matter went to arbitration.
The government’s four-percent offer came with additional allowances including a risk allowance.
The allowance package, which does not include what the government has just offered, accounts for more than 30 percent of the overall compensation for police officers – a fact the officers were not willing to part with, James added.