THE EDITOR: Almost every month soldiers are paid late and are not paid their full entitlement. The travelling allowance portion of their salary has not been paid for most of this year. This is especially true for the Defence Force Reserves.
This is unacceptable. The men and women of the Defence Force work pretty much every day, including weekends, and have responsibilities such as mortgages, rent, food and travelling to cover for themselves and their families (who they barely see or spend time with due to their long hours on the job).
When they are not paid, any bills/loans that become overdue incur service fees that they must cover themselves as the Defence Force offers no support in that regard.
Why are they being treated in this manner? Why are they being made to suffer and must pay out even more money when everything in the country, from food to gas, has become very expensive with no relief in sight?
In addition, the roads are literally falling apart, which means a significant increase in the cost to maintain a vehicle as suspensions and tyres need to be changed regularly.
Soldiers are mandated to be at the ready at all times but have no assurances from those in authority that their interests are being taken care of. They cannot strike nor complain due to the structure/nature of the military and the contract they signed.
As of last Friday, they were yet to be paid for November and are being told it might be today at the earliest for their pay to “go through.”
Right now we need our protective services more than ever and so members deserve to be treated fairly.
I call on those who have the authority to address this serious issue urgently. Our soldiers do not deserve this.
LEESA PHILLIPS, San Fernando