Holness ‘Very Concerned’ About Police Wage Negotiations

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he’s “very concerned” about the protracted negotiations between the police and the Government over wages for rank and file police personnel.

Speaking at the 75th annual conference of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) at the National Arena Sunday, November 18, Mr. Holness said he had been watching the negotiations and was concerned that it had not concluded.

He was speaking against the background of a recent statement by the Jamaica Police Federation that it will be holding a mass meeting to have its members decide what to do over its failure to get the government make a better wage offer.

The police are the only major group of government paid workers yet to accept the government’s offer.

The Government has been agreeing four-year wage contracts with 16 percent increase over the period for public sector workers. The police Federation has been saying the offer from Government is unacceptable and has not moved over the last year of negotiations.

Mr. Holness said he was very sympathetic to the cause of the police but “we are doing our best.” He said he had asked the finance minister “to bring the matter to a close.”

However, he said the Government was committed to fiscal discipline and wanted the stakeholders to remember that. He said there was “no secret fund stashed away that we can dip into”. He said “it’s a sacrifice that both sides have to make.”

Franklin McKnight

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