Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 28th 2016 Contents A11
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The last of the protective services in line
for salary increases--- the Defence Force---
will be getting theirs and as well as some
backpay "down the line," National Security
Minister Edmund Dillon has confirmed.
Dillon spoke after he laid a document in
Parliament last Friday to facilitate the pay
hike for Defence Force personnel---the Defence
(Rates of Pay and Allowances) Regulations
2016. It was laid before Parliament takes its
mid-year recess in the next couple weeks.
The increase applies to all members of the
T&T Regiment, Coast Guard and Air Guard.
It was part of the award in train under the
last administration, now being honoured by
the current Government.
Last September, the Chief Personnel Officer
and the Defence Force signed an agreement
for the period January 2011 to December
2013. At that time, the increase was reportedly
estimated to be around 15 per cent.
Dillon said the Defence Force is the last
unit to receive such pay hike for protective
services personnel since other arms---police
etc---have received theirs and are also getting
"However, army personnel have waited
patiently," he said, noting the Defence Force
is not represented by a trade union or allowed
to take industrial action.
Unlike other services, however, the doc-
ument on the increase had to be laid in Par-
liament in order for the Finance Minister to
implement. It does not have to be debated,
He couldn t say exactly when the salary
increase would begin or the additional cost
of the increase and the backpay that the sol-
diers, sailors and pilots would receive.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert didn t
immediately respond on these issues as well
as the quantum of outstanding backpay owed
to members of the protective services and
Dillon: More $ for soldiers employees of the regional health authorities and if all
monies would be sourced from the $2.5 billion with-
drawn from the HSF fund from which Government s
recently sourced backpay for other protective serv-
Asked his position on Prime Minister Keith Rowley s
recent remark that T&T was losing the war on crim-
inals, Dillon said the situation wasn t where Government
wanted it to be.
"The murder rate particularly isn t where we want
it. Therefore, to a large extent we have to go out there
and put more deterrents in place. It means specific
operations and getting in the face of perpetrators
known to us and using intelligence to get those
unknown. We have to actively take the fight to them,
be more proactive and seize initiatives to fulfill this."
He said he had outlined strategies and policies by
which security sectors on the ground can work towards
this including supporting the Defence Force in what
has to be done. Dillon said he had also seen gradual
movement on divisional commanders heeding his
recent mandate to "own their real estate" and being
Among deterrents, Dillon said he will approach the
Attorney General to increase the penalty for people
caught perpetrating bomb scare and other "terror"
"Let s congratulate law enforcement for bringing a
person to justice on this recently. Perpetrators know
we can find you now so we ll push to increase penalties
for this. The current level of penalty is not commen-
surate with the impact such as (phone) call or similar
action can have."
On Opposition Senator Wade Mark s recent concerns
about "drug mules" seeking entry amid an influx of
Venezuelans, Dillon said security measures at ports
include 100 per cent luggage scans and body searches
if necessary for arrivals and departures.
He said agencies are progressing on tracking the
origin of three grenades found in T&T over the last
One was found on the pavement outside the Port-
of-Spain prison during the July 2015 jailbreak. Another
was detonated in March in Barataria during gang turf-
war. Another fell out of a bag carried by a man in
Carli Bay last month.
Members of the St Joseph Convent Scorpions go
through their routine during Cheer Explosion at
Centre of Excellence, Macoya, on Sunday.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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