Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness. (FILE)
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KINGSTON – Prime Minister Andrew Holness is expected to issue a statement “on the way forward” after he holds talks with various stakeholders in a bid to end the impasse that has resulted in several police officers reporting sick for duty.
The Police Federation said it has written Prime Minister Andrew two letters urging his intervention in the negotiations after the rank and file of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) rejected a two-year six per cent wage offer from the Ministry of Finance.
The Federation had described the offer of four per cent increase in the first year and two per cent in the second year as “unacceptable”.
Director of Communications in the Office of the Prime Minister, Robert Morgan, confirmed that the letters had been received and that the prime minister “is going to inform himself of all the variables, make contact with the stakeholders who are a part of the negotiating process, and after that is done, then the Prime Minister will issue a statement on the way forward”.
Morgan dismissed suggestions that Prime Minister Holness had been slow in responding to the request pointing out that the first letter was sent at the height of the Christmas celebrations.
“I don’t know if objectively it can be said that the response has been slow. We have to follow the protocols, we have to follow the rules; they are established long before our entry into the system,” he added.
Meanwhile, the JCF said members were reporting for work on Friday. At the height of the sick out, an estimated 2 730 officers stayed away from work, but the figure has since been reduced to 1 712.
Earlier this week, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) called on the state to quickly resolve the pay dispute with police officers.
PSOJ president Howard Mitchell said that there’s no leadership on the issue and that the business sector is concerned that the sickout by the police members is growing with no clear direction from the state. (CMC)