Police officers say they will "fight" to obtain increases in wages
Police officers who gathered at Police Headquarters recently have said a resounding "no" to Government's offer of a wage freeze for the period 2012 to 2025.
After the meeting, Jefferson Drigo, the Chairman of the Police Welfare Association (PWA) said: "I can tell you that the government's proposal for wage and salary increase recommending a freeze for the triennium 2012/2015 was categorically rejected by the membership".
He added that the police discussed a counter proposal which will be presented to Government's negotiating team when they meet on June 13, 2014.
"Our proposal will reflect honesty; we are not going to ask for 50% and we know that we cannot get it...whatever the outcome of the proposal we will present it to our members and then to government, " he said.
He said while the police don't want to fight with Government, it must be noted that for the triennium 2006/2009 the police received no increase and thus the officers were merely asking for what they deserve because of their "hard and dedicated work."
"We are working extremely hard and things are getting very expensive, cost of living rising, we need a decent increase from Government. We have compromised over and over with them and now the membership has told us we have to fight for them and for ourselves," Drigo stated.
In support, member of the PWA executive Sergeant Philbert Bertrand said the PWA intends to be "realistic and we are not looking for any pie in the sky flash flood type of figure".
"We are relying on the performance of the economy and also government's pronouncements that the economy for the past how many years is doing well and we are much better than other countries who are doing retrenchment," he said.
Meantime, Corporal David Andrew Jr, the secretary of the PWA said government's proposals lack "figures and facts."
"I must say that this proposal lacks a lot of substance. They must show facts and figures to us in order that we can at least understand what they are saying. Government can do much better than that," he said.
The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) has also rejected the Government's salary freeze proposal.