Cops ‘Protest Action’ – No Love Lost

No Love Lost

By Suzanne Mills
February 11, 2011 –

PoliceIf Social Welfare Association head, Sergeant Anand Ramesar is representative of police intellectual force in TT, I’ve heard enough. Let´s throw in the towel at once, surrender immediately to the bandits, but Jah spare us the cruel and unusual punishment of Sergeant Ramesar’s ad-libs: “We will down tools, no retirees for desk work, “no bikes for cops” and his newest, “Take back the $1,000!”

Take back the $1,000? Too late, Sarge! By accepting the allowance for the past few months, police have signed and sealed a contract. If the police now wish to decline the payment they´d have to prove (and evidence gathering is not their strong suit) the contract to be void or voidable. Is the Association suggesting cops were misled, lacked free will, mental capacity or material facts when they took the $1,000 last year? Demonstrate it.

To my knowledge, the Government never misrepresented the $1,000 extra; they did not call the allowance a salary, though the increase was arguably equivalent to a 17 percent raise. The Association took the deal, fully aware wage negotiations were at hand. If they wanted to hold out for the full 40 percent, maintain a strong bargaining position, they should have turned the extra money down. Strategy is as essential to negotiations as it is to police work. Surely they did not entertain the ludicrous belief they would get 40 percent plus $1,000 after repeated declarations by Government that the Treasury is empty. Oh yes they did — that´s what they are demanding.
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7 thoughts on “Cops ‘Protest Action’ – No Love Lost”

  1. Take back the $1,000

    Thursday, February 10 2011

    MOMENTS after a meeting between Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis and the Police Social Welfare Association’s executive was aborted at her Port-of-Spain office yesterday, association president Sgt Anand Ramesar told Government it could take back the $1,000 special allowance and instead grant a 40 percent salary increase.

    The special duty allowance was given to policemen shortly after the Peoples Partnership Government assumed the reins of power following victory in the May 24 General Election.

    A defiant Sgt Ramesar noted the refusal of Lewis to accede to their 40 percent salary demand.

    He claimed police are being placed under unnecessary stress. Ramesar accused Government of betraying police saying no price can be too high in ensuring the country’s security.

    “The Prime Minister’s articulation on the $1,000 given to police officers in October…we reject her opinion that this represents a salary increase. Salary increases are dealt with by the CPO and this is not a payment connected with terms and conditions, Ramesar said.

    “We remind the honourable Prime Minister of our complaint about the $5,000 additional allowances to officers of the Special Anti-Crime Unit (SAUTT) and it is in that context we understand why the $1,000 payment was made.”

    Yesterday’s meeting was aborted after Lewis refused to budge from her five percent wage offer.

    The meeting started at 10 am and was aborted 20 minutes later. Sgt Ramesar and his executive left the CPO’s office and headed to the association’s office where they met in a closed door session to discuss their next course of action.

    The association will be having an emergency meeting of all members at 1 pm tomorrow. Speaking to reporters on the salary issue on Tuesday night during her tour of several Carnival mas camps, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it pained her that she could not pay public servants including police officers 100 percent, but the sad reality is that the country’s economic status does not allow for such expenditure.

    Ramesar yesterday said Persad-Bissessar’s comment that the five percent wage increase stands, was one of the “most devastating blows” to the morale of police officers. On Monday a large number of officers stayed off the job, crippling operations at courthouses and causing vital patrols in crime hot-spots to be cancelled.,135509.html

  2. “I never noticed the Police Association trying to browbeat Patrick Manning when he set up SAUTT and shifted resources and funds to the illegal outfit”.
    Ms Mills has touched on a very significant point here. There is a tendency for many to make unreasonable demands on this new government, when they sat silently and accepted whatever Manning dished out to them. Sgt Ramesar and his cohort , the head of the PSA are both bullies, displaying their political and sexist biases on a daily basis.They are unreasonable, arrogant men who are so self absorbed in their own egos that they cannot see clearly.Who gets a 40% increase nowadays?

  3. Cops intensify sick-out
    OPERATIONS within several policing divisions, sections and units throughout the Police Service are expected to be severely affected today and tomorrow as police officers have intensified their “protest action” over the Chief Personnel Officer’s proposed five per cent increase in salaries.

    ‘Shut down fetes’
    Promoter Roy Maraj is appealing to Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs to find a quick resolution to the issues raised by the Social and Welfare Association of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, which resulted in a sick-out last week.

    Gibbs concerned over public safety
    As members of the Second Division of the T&T Police Service threaten a second round of protest action, Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs is expressing concern for members of the public.

  4. They should stay on their sickout. As we have all noticed that since their protest action, crime is down. The ones that showed up for work took their oath to serve and protect. The ones who are out sick, check their math scores. As one comment indicated, “who gets 40% wage increase these days” They’re really sick. They need a perscription for meds. Send them for a medical check-up, because they have lost touch with reality.

  5. SAUTT no more
    THE SPECIAL Anti-Crime Unit (SAUTT) will cease operations on Independence Day (August 31) and a new National Intelligence Agency (NIA) will begin operations on September 1, National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy announced at yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.

    …Sautt officers to lose $5,000 monthly allowance
    Some 686 officers assigned to the Special Anti-Crime Unit of T&T (Sautt) are to lose a $5,000 monthly allowance when the unit is disbanded and they return to their substantive jobs within the…

    …Pay Cut for SAUTT

    …Joseph on SAUTT: They delivered
    The Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago played a pivotal role in the fight against crime and earned the respect of several regional and international intelligence agencies.

    PM to meet with police body

    20% for police
    Government is set to offer a 20 percent increase in salaries and other benefits to police officers.

    Now Prisons Officers threaten protests

    …Prisons officers knocking on PM’s door for pay rise

    Soldiers to remain at PM’s home
    Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Roland Maunday yesterday confirmed he had received official communication from the Ministry of National Security advising him that effective immediately, soldiers are to maintain a permanent presence at the private residence of Prime Minister (PM) Kamla Persad-Bissessar in SS Erin Road, Phillipine.


    By Darcel Choy
    February 19, 2011 –

    Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner yesterday accused critics of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar of hounding her because she is an Indian woman.

    The People’s Partnership Government, he said, is being pressured for wage increases from several quarters all at the same time, noting the previous administration never faced such demands.

    “Suddenly in eight weeks, because the Prime Minister is a woman, particularly an Indian woman, everybody wants everything same time, gimme 40 percent, gimme 20 percent, well take all,” Warner said, to cheers and applause from constituents of St Joseph, present during a sod-turning ceremony for the start of the second phase of the interchange at the Uriah Butler and Churchill Roosevelt Highways intersection.

    The minister began his speech by saying that $519 million will be spent on this phase of the interchange, before hitting out at the recent wave of industrial action, most recently a two-day sickout by the police who are demanding a 40 percent wage hike, as well as protests by public servants, led by the Public Services Association (PSA).

    The PSA is seeking a 34 percent salary increase, and on Thursday prisons officers too made their claim for higher pay when they delivered a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister.

    Warner said all of these parties did not take such action during the previous eight-year term of the PNM.

    “You tend to forget so quickly that for eight years no police ever received an increase. You tend to forget so quickly, police, PSA, prisons officers, they never said boo,” said Warner, who later thanked those who attended yesterday’s function for continuing to have faith in the Government.

    “Thank you for believing in us as a Government that we shall deliver, in spite of difficult times and hard times we shall deliver. Our role has been to improve the lives of our people and I give you the assurance that nobody but nobody would move this Government before the next two terms at least, so let them talk,” he said.

    Defending Government’s development plans, Warner again criticised the PSA for saying it will block the construction of a $7 billion highway between San Fernando and Point Fortin. The PSA had said the funds would be better used to pay public servants.

    “Well block it nah, block it, these are the kinds of things you have to fight and face with, while this is happening, while these people always want to say gimme gimme, they do not understand that you have to have development. What we are having here is part of that continuing development that is taking place,” he said.

    After the function, Warner told reporters funding is currently being sourced for the construction of the Point Fortin highway by president of the National Infrastructure Development Company, Dr Carson Charles.

    “At this point in time, Dr Carson Charles, is talking to several banks both local and foreign to get the best interest rates. We are getting offers from Canada, China and local banks because the market is good for borrowing,” he said.

    Warner noted while funds were being sourced, work on the Point Fortin highway was going to begin on Thursday.

    “That tells you about the faith and confidence they have in the Government that they can begin on Thursday even while the funding is being sourced,” he told reporters.

    A sod-turning ceremony for the Point Fortin highway project took place on January 25 and was attended by the Prime Minister.

    Earlier in his speech, Warner spoke of other development projects previously announced by Government, including the construction of the Chaguanas hospital, the Mamoral Dam and expansion of campuses of the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of TT (COSTAATT).

    He said Chaguanas Mayor Orlando Nagessar together with officials from the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Ministry of Health will be touring the site for the Chaguanas hospital today.

    “In less than a month’s time we turn the sod for the South campus, they forget COSTAATT would open another branch in Chaguanas. They forget in two months from now we would begin the Mamoral Dam for $1 billion,” he said.

    Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim, Justice Minister and St Joseph MP Herbert Volney and Nagessar, who also attended the ceremony, applauded as Warner made his statements.

    Warner said on Monday he would tour the site for the Point Fortin hospital which “no government built”, and expected the facility to be completed in a few months.

    He said critics have also forgotten that the Works and Transport Ministry is establishing a National Management Traffic Centre.

    “All the traffic lights from Ana Street in Woodbrook right up to Grand Bazaar, all the lights are co-ordinated. All these lights would be in one engine room and controlled by wireless. Eleven cameras would be installed and those cameras would tell us about the traffic on the roads,” he said.

    Volney, who has had heart surgery, gave brief remarks and told Warner the interchange was a necessity.

    “We need to have the intersection cleared up just like surgery cleared up the clogs in my arteries. We want this to clear up the traffic in this area so our visitors will be healthy when they leave,” Volney quipped.,136042.html

    No 20% pay hike for cops
    Works and Transport Minister Jack Minister has dismissed reports that Cabinet had agreed to a 20 per cent pay hike for police officers.

    Police say yes to 20%

    Persad-Bissessar slams ‘sick’ cops: Protest action drastic, dangerous
    That’s how Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday described recent sick-out action by what she described as a “minority” of “misguided” police officers.

    PM Sends Warning
    Kamla: Sickout action will not go unchecked

    Jack: Sickout action targeting woman PM
    THE FACT that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is an East Indian woman is the reason several organisations have decided to use strong-arm tactics to influence wage negotiations, Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner said yesterday as he condemned how fickle citizens could be.

  7. ‘Union should have stopped sick-out’
    If the Police Social and Welfare Association does not sanction the sick-out action by police officers it should have told officers to get back to work and desist from further action.

    Prisons officers call for equal treatment
    PRISONS officers have issued a call to the Government to treat them equally as their counterparts within the Police Service.

    Duke: Gender has nothing to do with our demands
    Trade union leader PSA president Watson Duke says Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is not being hounded out of office because of her race and gender.

    Stooping to conquer
    Jack Warner has taken the two words out of my mouth. Indian woman. A week ago I’d written that sexism was fuelling the unbelievably unacceptable conduct of TT’s police who never before, not during the UNC and PNM years of runaway corruption and nepotism, comported themselves in such a bullying fashion. Then on Friday morning, I read the one line petition for a meeting with the Prime Minister dispatched by the head of the Social Welfare Association, Anand Ramesar (I‘ve stripped him of his rank).

    The gathering storm
    No serious commentator should now be disputing the fact that the PNM lies behind most, if not all, of the industrial action being taken in the country today. Indeed, it is not only that they are working with the people whom they ignored and suppressed while they were in power, but they are seeking to instigate disturbances and confusion wherever they can.

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