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Police on Strike


Permalink 04:35:41 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Politics, Commentary, News

Police on Strike

So its finally happened, the nurses have been joined by yet another public sector group who have simply become fed up with the decisions taken by the government. The islands police force has today staged a sickout in protest to the fact that the government has owed them a large amount of money for some time and simply refuses to pay them. Most people expected this kind of reaction eventually from the police (and other public sector workers) because as of recently, the government has been treating them (the public sector) with such a high level of disrespect and lack of sympathy that there was bound to be some sort of backlash, and it is finally happening.

Jamaican police

The Jamaica gleaner reports that:

The Police Federation is remaining firm as it presses the government to respond to matters relating to the payment of outstanding salaries to its members. While not confirming reports that some rank and file police personnel are staging a sick-out, Sergeant Raymond Wilson says the federation is giving the government more time to call a meeting with its executive.  The federation had served a 72-day ultimatum on the government last week to call a meeting. However, the government failed to respond to the 5 p.m. deadline on Friday.

So like with the issue with the nurses everybody is pretty much remaining quiet as to the subject of the sick out but yet everybody knows that it is actually going on.

For those wondering about the disrespect and lack of sympathy I am speaking about, one simply has to look at the recent speeches made by the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister. Both people have been talking to the public sector workers in the same manner that a parent speaks to his/her unruly child. Instead of trying to come up with a plan to pay the public sector similar to that Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) introduced by the previous administration, they have simply come out and said "we will not pay you the money that we rightfully owe you" - of course that is not a direct quote, but it is more or less what was stated.

Can you imagine, the entire public sector - Doctors, Teachers, Policemen, Nurses, etc. - all these trained professionals who spent time acquiring the level of education and training required to provide adequate service, being told that without any other explanation than "we cannot", that the money owed to them will not be coming. Especially when one adds the fact that the same government who refuses to pay them, is also trying to take more money from them by increasing and applying new taxes to almost every good or service that they need to live. So the little money they have been making is actually worth much less due to inflation, less disposable income means that the public sector workers are living living like paupers despite having the same amount of work  to do.

Add to this the fact that wages have not increased in a years, and the government has had the required testicles to add a further 2 year wage freeze to the entire public sector, and you have a bunch of understandably angry people who want what is due to them. Can you imagine what would happen if the entire public sector decided that they are going to strike? The crippling effect it would have on the Jamaican public? We already have to live through the lessened security we have because of lack of police, what more can we expect? I personally am happy that the majority of these public sector workers have not outright stopped their work though, and I applaud their nobility, but there needs to be some steps taken to ensure that this situation is sorted out... and quickly.

Gleaner cartoon**taken from the Gleaner

... As I typed this article I also had to think about something interesting that came to mind, and that was essentially what was the purpose of the IMF loan that the government took out? But maybe I should save this for another article.

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Bruk Pocket Jamaican

"Recently, this Jamaican won the 10 million special lottery for a dollar. As soon as the office of the Lottery Corporation was open on the following day, he was there to collect his winnings.

Graciously, he presented his winning ticket to the clerk and in his best English uttered his request "Me cum fi collect the 10 millian dallars, si me ticket ya".

After reviewing and checking the ticket with his manager, the clerk returned and requested on how he would like his payments. The Jamaican replied "Mi wan all a de moni now". "Unfortunately, Sir" the nervous clerk responded, "The procedures are that we can only give you one million now and the balance equally over the next 20 years".

Furious and agitated, the Jamaican asked for the manager, who re-iterated "Sir, my assistant is correct, it is the regulation of the corporation that we initially pay you one million dollars now with the balance paid to you equally over the next 20 years".

Outraged, the Jamaican slammed his hand on the desk and shouted in anger, "Oonu tek me fi idiat, me wan all a de moni now or oonu gi me bak me rass dallar!!"


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