FRUSTRATED by the treatment retired municipal police officers continue to face, Joanne Williams can only say, "This is nonsense going on. They are not taking us on."
Williams is one of 134 officers who are still waiting after 16 years for an $85 million payment from the State. The payment was awarded by former High Court judge Amrika Tiwary-Reddy in a 2003 matter brought against the State as compensation relating to the officers' terms of employment.
Lamenting that the pressures of finances and health continue to mount, Williams in a frustrated tone, said in a call with Newsday that the officers are being ignored. The issue has now reached "fever pitch."
She added, "We will continue until the government respect us."
Contacted for comment, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said, "It would be inappropriate for me to make a comment about a matter before the court."
Last month the officers met to discuss an interim payment promised in a letter from the Office of the Chief State Solicitor, in the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs – a copy of which was sent to Newsday.
The letter said, "The Honourable Attorney General has approved an interim payment in the sum of 23,450,000.00 for the 134 respondents pending the determination of the appeal."
The payment was suggested by the AG's office and was intended to hold over the officers as they await the outcome of the State's appeal of the 2003 ruling.
The officers are now drafting a letter they intend to send to the Prime Minister.
Calls to the AG's office went unanswered.