Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith (left) and Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite at yesterday's BPA’s Annual General Meeting.

police not happy

Local police officers want a salary increase.

President of the Barbados Police Association, Mervin Grace, says it has been almost a decade since they last received a pay hike, and he is adamant that it is high time they are granted an increase.

He raised the issue during the BPA’s Annual General Meeting, held at the Police Band Headquarters, Prince Cave Hall, District ‘A’ Complex yesterday morning.

“We shall cease requesting and start demanding our just due. We give of our best each day with no adequate remuneration and allowances, and therefore the year ahead will be one of demands for better remuneration and allowances for the rank and file of the Royal Barbados Police Force,” he told the audience which included Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite and Commissioner of Police, Tyrone Griffith.

The matter of pay was but one of the issues Grace put on the table yesterday. According to the BPA President, also of concern is the Association’s continued battle for the right to associate with trade unions. While acknowledging that the matter has been discussed over the years with the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Police and other stakeholders, he lamented that they have failed to reach a resolution.

“I wish to say that we will be putting this matter to rest in the very near future. If you refuse us the right, you must compensate us,” he contended.

Furthermore, Grace noted that there remains numerous vacancies in the Force, which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. This, he explained, has resulted in a number of persons acting in positions, and the BPA Head said this is unacceptable.

“We are an organisation which cannot be allowed to continue with the number of acting [personnel] at such high numbers, which range from the rank of Sergeant straight up to Deputy Commissioner of Police. We are cognisant of the issues that you face in regards to the promotions process and as always we will continue to work with you to maintain the highest level of discipline within the organisation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Grace also spoke about the failure to reward the excellent work of the rank and file of the Force. He said that the awards and commendations have taken a “serious nosedive” such that while recommendations were made for officers to be awarded the Barbados Service Medal since 2014, none have been distributed. Grace explained that in 2014 and 2015 recommendations were made and approved, but to this date they have not been issued to successful members of the Police Force.

“We are aware that none have been applied for, for 2016, and to date we are not aware that any have been applied for, for 2017. This is an indictment that needs to be rectified immediately. Some members of the Force, whose names appeared on the list, have since retired and have not received their Service Medals to date. These persons have retired without being presented with their Service Medals for their long and loyal service to this country. I implore you, Sir, to let us recognise our members as soon as possible,” he added. (JRT)

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