WATCH: Police reps get cordial but remain direct with Clarke in church Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Chairman of the Police Officers’ Association (POA), Senior Superintendent Wayne Cameron, is adamant that a new proposed compensation package for the association that came from the Ministry of Finance on Friday, still requires for certain adjustments to be made before it can be accepted by them.

Cameron is insisting that it is in the interest of his police group and others “to get the best (wage) package”, noting that they are not perturbed by the window that is virtually closing, for the POA members to receive their new salaries and back payments before the end of the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

The POA represents gazetted officers of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) from the rank of assistant superintendent to commissioner.

The latest offer from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service came less than 24 hours after the POA, the Jamaica Police Federation and the United Constables Association held a joint press conference on Thursday, and declared that the previous offer needed some adjustments to fix certain anomalies that were detected with the wage package.

Cameron, speaking on Saturday at the Jamaica Police Federation Central Committee church service at the Portmore Seventh Day Adventist Church in St Catherine, used the opportunity to address the issues of the pay scales under the new package in the presence of Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, who was in attendance at the event.

While light-hearted expression were extended, with even a jab here and there, Cameron maintained a business-first approach.

Video: Llewellyn Wynter

“What we currently have as a JCF, we enjoy significant percentages between ranks. An assistant superintendent who is being elevated to deputy superintendent, as an example, is moved up about nine per cent,” Cameron informed.

“A deputy superintendent moving to Superintendent is moved up about 12 per cent… From the superintendent to a senior superintendent is another nine per cent…,” he further outlined.

“So to provide a proposal that has completely erased those differential is difficult to accept,” Cameron declared, adding that such issues have to be corrected “before we move forward”.

He also made it publicly known that his police group is not concerned about missing the March 31 deadline that has been set by the Finance Ministry for public sector workers to receive the new salaries and the retroactive sums.

Clarke had said failure to sign off on the wage offer on time, would result in the back payments not being accommodated in the 2023-2024 budget, but being paid in portions over several budget cycles to come.

“Minister (Clarke) is saying we are out of the timeline, and I’m saying, minister, ‘Yes, the 10th of the month is gone. You mentioned that was the payroll date’.

“I’ve been here longer than you, minister, way longer than you, and we have employed ministry staff, night after night, to fix police salary and pay the police on time. So, we are not perturbed,” declared Cameron.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Corporal Rohan James, in a much more amicable tone than previous public utterances on the new wage packages, called for the finance minister to engage in further discussions to resolve the outstanding compensation issues.