Officers of the Central Division who were informed that they were required to work at the qualifying football match between Trinidad and Tobago and Hoduras last evening yesterday threatened not to show up for duties because they were told that they would not be paid for any extra duties.
Officers contacted the Police Social and Welfare Association yesterday and complained bitterly that they were informed that they are to work for free, and that no extra duty allowances would be paid to them for working the football match.
Officers also claimed that they heard through informed sources that their seniors were given the directive to roster officers to work at the football match as part of normal duties and that no extra duty allowances be paid to them. Officers were advised by the Police Social and Welfare Association to carry out their duties in the interest of the public and the matter will be dealt with at a later date. One officer suggested yesterday that if the police officers are to work for free, then the public should not be charged to enter the venue. Yesterday secretary of the association, Assistant Superintendent Anand Ramesar said:
“Any action that details police officers to work at private functions that are run by organisations other than those that are controlled by the government of Trinidad and Tobago goes against the law as it relates to police officers working extra duties. On the heels of that it has been brought to the attention of the association that police officers were detailed to work at the Ato Boldon Stadium for a football match between Trinidad and Tobago, and Honduras. That is causing some concern among the membership of the association. In previous times this has been under the umbrella of extra duties, however in this situation it is being advised that officers are being detailed to work at this event. The question is whether the Trinidad and Tobago football association is a government body. This is a question to be answered and if it is no then the directive goes against all which requires that events requiring police officers are to be acquired through extra duties.”
Ramesar also noted that the association is doing all that is required to maintain law and order, however he pointed out however the requirement for extra police officers is not sitting well with the association
“This impugners the terms and conditions of the police service and is nothing short of oppressive working conditions. We understand that this situation is a result of a political directive and we are calling on Minister Dillon to say whether this came from his office.”
Ramesar advised that he and other executive members advised members to carry out their duties but assured them that the matter will be properly addressed in the interest of all officers.