JAMAICA-LABOUR-Police Federation still awaiting response from PM on wage talks

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec 23, CMC – The Police Federation says it is still awaiting a response to its request for meeting with Prime Minister Andrew Holnes and urged members to disregard a disregard a text message being circulated claiming that the prime minister has increased the Jamaica government’s wage offer to the police.
General Secretary of the Federation, Sergeant Cecil McCalla, speaking on a local radio station, has described the text message as “fake news” and that the Federation is still awaiting a response to its letter sent to Prime Minister Holness earlier this week.
The Federation wrote Holness urging him to intervene in the wage impasse involving the Ministry of Finance after the Federation Wednesday rejected the government’s six per cent offer over two years.
There are fears that police officers may take industrial action to pressure the government and both the he Federation and National Security Robert Montague have urged the police not to harm the country’s national security by taking industrial action especially during the busy Christmas Season.
Last week, more than 12,000 policemen and women stayed of the job in a mass sick-out.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, told a news conference Friday that he “fully” understands the plight of the police officers and support their call for improved salaries.
“I want to say that while I support my colleagues in their call for higher wages, I want to likewise remind them of their duty to the country in securing the public, even through this time,” said Bailey.
Meanwhile, the United States Embassy here has issued an advisory urging Americans to be cautious this weekend as they shop in Kingston.
The embassy said it had received reports of a planned sickout and warned that this may result in the shopping areas being exceptionally crowded and without adequate level of police presence.
The embassy said that for this reason, it is urging American citizens to conduct shopping during daylight hours and to use enhanced awareness if engaged in night activities on Christmas Eve.

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