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9 percent increase

By NALINEE SEELAL Saturday, November 17 2012

click on pic to zoom in
Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis...
Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis...

MEMBERS of the general council of the Police Social Welfare Association yesterday accepted Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis’ offer of a nine percent salary increase for police to conclude negotiations for the collective bargaining period of 2008-2010.

The increases will be calculated at three percent for 2008, three percent for 2009 and three percent for 2010. Yesterday, 390 members of the general council met at the conference room of the Guard and Emergency Branch (GEB) headquarters in El Socorro at 2.20 pm where the agenda was set out to discuss the CPO’s offer.

Newsday understands that members wasted no time in asking the Association’s executive to proceed with voting, which ended at 3.20 pm.

At the end of the voting, 385 members voted in favour of accepting the CPO’s nine percent offer while five disagreed.

Two weeks ago, the CPO met with the Association’s executive and informally proposed a nine percent increase for the period 2008-2010. Yesterday, Association president Sgt Anand Ramesar told Newsday he will request a meeting with the CPO as early as Monday to bring a conclusion to salary negotiations so computation of back pay and the new increases could be put in place as soon as possible. He is hoping back pay is paid before Christmas.

“We feel vindicated in rejecting the original five percent. We feel empowered to move forward having regard to the fact that this is a decision of the membership by a voting population that would have exceeded the highest previous attendance.

“The way forward for us now is to ensure that there is a speedy conclusion to tying up loose ends for the 2008-2010 period. Additionally we would want to immediately embark on putting in place a strategy for treating with the 2011-2013 negotiations. Members in no way were convinced that nine percent is a sufficient increase but took into consideration the fact that the Defence Force and other departments’ negotiations for salary increases were dependent on the conclusion of the police service negotiations.

“Also members took into consideration the need to focus on police work for Christmas and the fact that conclusion at this juncture would have been in favour of the public. So police officers demonstrated that they put country before self, and demonstrated their patriotism and worth,” Ramesar said.

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