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CPO willing to settle at 9 percent

By NALINEE SEELAL Tuesday, November 6 2012

Police officers who have been clamouring for salary increases for the period 2008-2010 may soon be offered a nine percent increase over a three-year period.

This possibility came to light during an informal meeting between Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis, and the executive of the Police Social and Welfare Association.

Last week the CPO asked the police association to have informal talks with her, with respect to outstanding salary negotiations, and the association accepted the offer to meet.

Last October, the association rejected any further talks with the CPO with respect to salary negotiations, and asked then Minister of Finance Winston Dookeran to refer salary negotiations to the Industrial Court.

However sources revealed that at yesterday’s meeting the CPO informally agreed to pay the nine percent increase with a breakdown of three percent for 2008, another three percent for 2009, and three percent for 2010.

The association’s executive informed the CPO that they will have to get back to her after meeting with the central committee of the association.

A meeting between the executive and the central committee will take place on Friday to decide if the membership will be willing to settle for nine percent.

Contacted yesterday, president of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Sgt Anand Ramesar confirmed the meeting between his executive and the CPO, and said, “I would confirm that the meeting between the association and the CPO took place today, and I would consider the discussions to have been very healthy, and I have scheduled a meeting with the central committee members to discuss possible conclusions towards salary negotiations, this meeting will take place on Friday.”

Newsday understands that the informal meeting started at 9.30 am and ended at 11.30 am. Newsday learned that there was a buzz in the police service as members are presently engaged in discussions about the pros and cons of settling for the nine percent, over a three-year period, and this discussion will culminate on Friday when the central committee meets.

A few months ago the general council of the police association rejected a nine percent increase in salary, after it was bandied about that Government was willing, through the CPO to make this offer.

Newsday also understands that some of the concerns of the general council was there was no documented proof of that nine percent offer, and the rejection was based more on the premise of scepticism.

Yesterday government sources revealed that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Minister of National Security were keen on settling salary negotiations for the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.

Police officers are equally keen on receiving a backpay and increase in time for the Christmas season, because they claim that they were always asked to work additional hours for that period.

Officers also added that any move to settle at a reasonable offer will boost the morale of officers at this time.

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