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Police Staff Assoc. ups compensation demands

TANEKA THOMPSON
Guardian Senior Reporter
taneka@nasguard.com

Published: Oct 08, 2013

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Police Staff Association (PSA) Chairman Inspector Dwight Smith said yesterday the group is still awaiting word from Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage on whether police officers will be compensated financially or with extra vacation days for their recently introduced 12-hour shift.

“Police get paid for five days a week and eight hours a day, so why shouldn’t we ask for extra,” Smith said yesterday.

“We wait for the response from the minister. I just don’t understand why they won’t call and deal with the issue at hand.

“According to the [Employment] Act, the constitution [and] police policies, any police officer who works in excess of eight hours ought to be paid overtime. That’s the law.

“They just need to put their money where their mouth is. I’m getting called every day in terms of when the 12 hours will cease.  Any person will know we cannot sustain a 12-hour shift for a long period of time because we are going to burn out.”

On Sunday, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said the police force will remain on the extended shift as long as is necessary to keep the country safe.

When asked to respond to the PSA’s concerns about overtime pay, the commissioner said officers in The Bahamas “receive good salaries and benefits”.

“Recent legislation has improved financial benefits for officers even more,” Greenslade said on Sunday.

Yesterday, Smith said he wants Greenslade to explain what these “improved financial benefits” are.

“What is the compensation?” Smith asked.

He added that police officers have not received a salary increase in 11 years, but received an increase in their uniform allowance from the Ingraham administration.

“Can you tell us what the benefits are, what are we compensated with, we don’t know,” he said.

“Every man works for a penny for a day’s work, so why would you want to change the whole playing field? Police officers need to be treated like any other worker.”


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