Jamaica police lone holdout in pay dispute

KINGSTON, Jamaica: After three more public sector groups agreed to government’s proposal to settle a retroactive pay dispute last weekend, the Jamaica Police Federation (JPF) remains the only organization that maintains refusal of the offer as of press time.

The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA), and the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association (JMDA) agreed last Saturday, after consultations with members over the weekend, to the payment of a seven per cent wage increase over a 26-month period.

Previously, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions; Police Officers Association; Island Special Constabulary Force Officers Association and Island Special Constabulary Force Association (Rank and File), confirmed their acceptance of the offer to settle the issue, which has been the subject of negotiations over the past several weeks.

The deal had originally been scheduled to be signed last Friday, but Prime Minister Bruce Golding put it off to give the NAJ, JTA, JMDA and the JPF more time to consider whether they would come on board.

Under the plan, the government has proposed to pay the retroactive sums, starting in May 2012 and ending in October 2014.

However, the Police Federation has asked that all the money be paid by May 2013.

The government has already made it clear that it will not give a better deal to one group over the others.

“Delegates and the branch board will communicate to us what is their new position in light of this, if any, and definitely it is by virtue of those indicators that the Police Federation will now move forward,” said JPF chairman Sergeant Raymond Wilson after the nurses, doctors and teachers agreed to the government proposal.

He said he expects a decision this week.

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