Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 30th 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, January 30, 2015
There will no police presence for Sun-
day s Panorama semifinals and at all
other major Carnival events.
So said president of the Police Service
Social and Welfare Association Insp Anand
He added if Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar did not intervene immedi-
ately and settle salary negotiations before
Sunday then the country s security would
Speaking at a press conference at the
Besson Street Police Station, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday Ramesar said members
of the Police, Prisons and Fire Services
were still receiving 2008 salaries.
His sentiments were echoed by president
of the Prisons Service Association Ceron
Richards and Leo Ramkisoon, president
of the Fire Services Association.
Ramesar claimed there was a "construc-
tive delay" by the chief personnel officer
to proceed with salary negotiations.
He added: "What we are seeing is a
volatile situation in the Police Service and
members have been calling us the entire
day and indicating to us they are not going
to work for Panorama and that is a sit-
uation which we consider to be extremely
worrisome and a threat to public safety.
"We are clear in our minds that it is
not a situation which the Commissioner
of Police could treat with nor the Minister
of National Security.
"It is clearly a membership issue to the
point where we need an intervention by
an authority that can address the situa-
tion," Ramesar added.
He said the association believed it did
not have the morale authority to sway
members from staying away from the job.
"The members believe the CPO has
been procrastinating in providing the nec-
essary information for salary negotiations
to proceed. Nobody short of the Prime
Minister could treat with this issue,"
Richards said prisons officers were frus-
trated and fed up, so much so that inmates
were brought to the respective courts late
yesterday. He said based on the slow pace
of negotiations the enthusiasm of prisons
officers had dwindled.
He accused the CPO of "robbing" police,
fire and prisons officers of the opportunity
to negotiate in an effective and proper
"Just last week we met with the CPO
and efforts to frustrate the process con-
tinue. Members of the Prisons Service
have been frustrated where there is a seri-
ous slowdown in the operations in the
east and in Port-of-Spain," Richards
Ramkisoon said he was also unable to
report to his membership as to where
"We need to convey to our members a
genuine attempt by the Government to
treat with the issues. We are seeing clearly
there is no real or genuine effort to place
and offer on the table," Ramkisoon
New chairman of the Police Serv-
ice Commission (PSC) Maria Therese
Gomes says she has no "crystal ball"
and would be working with other
members to address the many issues
before the commission.
She was sworn in during a short
and simple ceremony at the Office of
the President yesterday.
She replaces criminologist Prof
Ramesh Deosaran who resigned last
year months after he was re-appoint-
ed.The official swearing-in ceremony
was closed to the media. Other mem-
bers of the commission present were
Addison Khan, Martin George, Roamar
Achat-Saney and Dr James Kenneth
Armstrong. Gomes said from next
week the hard work will begin.
Cops threaten to boycott Panorama
...If PM doesn't settle wage talks
While Ramesar made it clear it was not the intention
of officers to stay away from the job, he said a reduction
in the number of officers would immediately threaten
the public's safety.
Asked to clarify whether it was wrong for officers to
engage in industrial action Ramesar said:
"Police officers will never be directed by the
association to engage in industrial action but what we
understand is they are taking things into their own
"This is what we call informal action. Constructively
they will get together and this is what they plan to do...
boycott the Panorama, boycott the Carnival events... so
that when the court makes a ruling in terms of what
should be the sanctioned strength you will find that the
number of police officers in relation to the number of
persons attending will be less than what the court
would have ordered to ensure safety for everyone,"
Ramesar said. Contacted yesterday acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams said he was unaware
of the statements Ramesar had made but intended to
call him to find out.
National Security Minister Gary Griffith said he also
could not comment as he was unaware of how far the
negotiations had reached.
Press secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister
Francis Joseph offered no comment.
POLICE WITHHOLD SERVICES
Newly sworn in chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr Marie Therese Gomes, centre, with her fellow
commissioners after yesterday's swearing-in ceremony at the Office of the President, St Ann's. From right are
Dr James Armstrong, Martin George, Roamar Achat-Saney and Addison Khan. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
New PSC head: I've no crystal ball
The number drawn on Crime
Watch yesterday was 242378. If
the mask on the back of your
yesterday's T&T Guardian has that
number you win the prize of
You have until 3 pm today to
come to the T&T Guardian office,
22-24 St Vincent Street, Port-of-
Spain, with the newspaper
containing the winning number and
Carnival Cash promotion
prize now worth $7,000
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