Police officers state case for salary increases
The Police Welfare Association (PWA) says it is dissatisfied with government's response to proposal for salary increases for the triennium 2015– 2018.
"Invariably, once inflation is not at 0 percent, money will lose its value and will adversely affect the purchasing power of members of the PWA. The proposed increase is keeping with the need to give greater purchasing power to the dollar of members of the PWA, as well as to ensure that members are paid a wage which does not result in making them worse off today than 10 years ago. With the increasing build up of a credit-culture, it is also necessary to make due provision for Police Officers to be able to make a saving for a rainy day," Chairman of the PWA Jefferson Drigo and its secretary David Andrew Jr. wrote in an18 page document to government.
They say that the PWA has taken all factors into consideration including the state of the economy, Government Fiscal Performance, the real Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the relative income values in the state, and in neighboring countries of the OECS and proposes the following salary structure for the triennium 2015– 2018. The Salary structure being proposed for members is as follows: 2015/16 -5%; 2016/17 -5%; 2017/18 -5%'
They claim that the PWA membership made sacrifices in previous years when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was at its highest by accepting 0% increases for periods 2000/01, 2002/03 and 2004/05.
"The PWA by accepting 0% in the aforementioned years on behalf of its members caused the purchasing power of the dollar of its member to diminish considerably since the cost of certain commodities in the household basket increased considerably during those periods. At the present the purchasing power of a member's dollar has diminished considerably," the PWA said.
The PWA proposes that $450 should be paid to all police officers, irrelevant to the section or the department in which they work since all police officers are faced on a regular basis with the threat of violence from criminals.
The PWA is also asking for duty free concession on imported vehicles for all police officers, an increase in the number of sergeants in the Police Force to an additional 16, so as to strengthen middle management and for proper supervision and control at stations and sections.
The PWA also requests that full-time special constables serving in the CDPF for more than ten years should be permanently establish and not under contract.
"The PWA recognizes special constables as part of us serving together and providing essential support and assistance to regular officers; moreover, they are exposed to the same risks as regular police officers," the PWA stated in the document.
"Unequivocally the special constables have served the Police Force with pride, zeal and distinction, it is only fitting that those who have served for so many years be rewarded for their dedicated service. Furthermore, it has been increasingly difficult for special constables to get loans approved whether for mortgage, vehicle or other personal matters in order to improve their personal lives. This is due to the annual one-year contract which makes financial institutions weary of approving loans due to the fact there is a possibility of the contract not being renewed. Consequently permanent appointment would alleviate the financial institution fears and provide the needed financial stability necessary for these constables to improve on their standard of living," the PWA wrote.
The PWA represents all Police Officers below the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police.