Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2015 Contents Prime
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Monday, March 9, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 06TH MARCH, 2015
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams says police officers under the
leadership of the president of the Police
Second Division Association Anand Rame-
sar would not "deliberately stay away from
work without the approved leave."
Contacted by phone yesterday to respond
to about today s possible action by police,
prison and fire officers to stay away from
work to protest the Government s failure to
settle wage negotiations, Williams said he
was unaware of the proposed action.
"If officers deliberately agreed to stay
away from work without getting vacation
leave, it will be an illegal act."
Williams was confident that the proposed
action will not come off.
"I am sure that the association with both
its president and the secretary as attorneys,
the officers will not agree to stay away from
"Police officers are not authorised to take
protest action. It is illegal."
Repeated attempts to get a comment from
National Security Minister Carl Alfonso
proved futile. When contacted, he said he
would return the call. Calls to his mobile
phone were not answered.
Communications Minister Vasant Bharath
said Finance and the Economy Minister
Larry Howai would be the best minister to
question on the issue but Howai could not
be reached yesterday.
At last week s meeting with the Chief
Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis,
negotiating teams representing police and
prison officers walked out because the CPO
did not make an acceptable offer.
Opposition Senator and People's
National Movement (PNM) public
relations officer Faris Al-Rawi said the
Government "has played politics with
every aspect of governance in this
"Crime and security, value for money
and productivity are all issues at stake,"
adding the Labour Minister Errol Mc
Leod had boasted that the Government
had successfully completed more wage
negotiations that any other government
in the country's history.
Al-Rawi said that was based on
information from the registry of
collective agreements. "The fact is that
this Government has done one-third of
the number of wage negotiations
conducted by the PNM in a similar
He said the present state of affairs
may have resulted from the
discontinuation of the Public Sector
Negotiations Committee (PSNC). He said
that committee was able to ensure that
"the left hand of government and the
right hand of state enterprise had parity
Labour Minister Errol Mc Leod
dismissed Al Rawi's claim that the
Government had not settled the most
Mc Leod insisted the Government
had settled more wage negotiations
that any other in the past four and a
"There is no fact that Al-Rawi can
bring to satisfy any claim that the PNM
had settled more claims than we have
over the corresponding period," Mc
Officers angry over
stalled wage talks
The public has been warned to be cautious,
following threats from police, prison and fire
officers to withhold their services today and
The advice comes from Leo Ramkissoon, pres-
ident of the Fire Services Association.
His association, along with the Police Second
Division Association and the Prison Officers Asso-
ciation have warned that members were dissatisfied
with salary negotiations and would stay away
On Wednesday, negotiating teams representing
the police and prison services stormed out of their
meeting with the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO)
"If all that is being threatened by the officers
of the protective services including fire, come to
pass what it means is that the protective blanket
that covers T&T will be compromised on Monday
"I would not want to see any mishaps coming
out of that so I am advising the public to take
every precaution because sadly they will be the
ones to suffer in this whole thing," Ramkissoon
Ramkissoon said officers had been put in the
position where they were saying they would be
taking matters into their own hands.
He said his membership was "highly aggrieved,
very upset and demoralised" and had issued
In a radio interview yesterday, president of the
Police Association Anand Ramesar said as far as
he had heard from the ground, police officers were
also planning to withhold their services today and
Ramesar urged the relevant stakeholders to meet
with him before the situation worsened.
In an interview, president association boss Cer-
ron Richards said the association had tried its
best to intervene.
He said his association had warned the gov-
ernment that if they did not treat with the issue
of salary negotiations in an honest and fair manner
officers would take the decision to stay away.
"We are reaping the benefits of a very angry
protective services, the talk on the ground is that
officers will be withholding their services they
will not be coming to work.
He said it was up to Government and Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to intervene in
a very meaningful manner to alleviate serious
frustration engulfing the protective services.
Police officers had threatened to withhold their
services for Carnival but relented on the 11th hour
with a caveat that they were acting in good faith
and expected reciprocity from the Government.
Director of the National Operations
Centre Garvin Heerah says the Defence
Force remains on alert for any untoward
situation that may arise if the members
if police, prison and fire officers make
good on their threat to stay away from
Heerah was asked to comment on the
matter in the wake of pending protest
action by the officers over the failure of
the government to make an appropriate
proposal for new collective agreements
with the respective negotiating teams.
Admitting that he was not aware of any
plans to engage in protest action by mem-
bers of the three protective arms, Heerah
said contingency plans are in place should
Yesterday, he said, the NOC had no
information and to any additional contin-
gency that would be put in place. ---Richard
Williams on strike threat...
It wouldn't come off
Soldiers on standby---NOC head
IN FULL COLOUR
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