Nottage suggests PSA not following due process
ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 25, 2013
National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said if the Police Staff Association (PSA) refers to legislation, it may make a “more considered conclusion” about whether to take legal action over compensation it feels officers are owed for working the new 12-hour shift.
The PSA said it sent a letter to Prime Minister Perry Christie on October 11 outlining the law that dictates when government employees should receive overtime pay.
PSA Executive Chairman Inspector Dwight Smith said this week the PSA will not back down from its threat to take legal action over the compensation issue.
Police have been working 12-hour shifts since early September as part of the government’s new crime-fighting.
“I don’t know what they have to back down from,” Nottage said.
“There is a staff association. It is governed by an act of Parliament.
“There are ways for them to deal with their matters officially.
“I advise them, rather than the approach that they are taking now, it would seem to me that they should act consistently with the laws that created the association.”
But Smith has said the PSA is following due process.
Nottage has said he was not deaf to the concerns of the association, but the commissioner of police would advise him.
Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade has said he will not be dictated to and everyone in his organization ought to be careful about what they say.
Nottage said on Wednesday executives of the association made it clear that “they don’t want me to deal with it” when they sent a letter to the prime minister.
Asked whether any decision has been made to compensate officers for the extra time or offer them other benefits such as more days off, Nottage said no decision has been made either way.
In a separate interview, Christie said he has no interest in speaking with Smith over compensation.
“The mere thought that he can independently speak to the minister of finance with respect to a matter without recourse to the minister responsible and the commissioner responsible, is really, clearly inconsistent with best practices,” Christie said outside the House of Assembly.
“And most certainly it is something that I would have no interest whatsoever in doing until such time as he is able to follow due process.”
Christie said he would not attempt to prevent the association from taking the matter to court.
“If he decides that is what he wants to do, then that is his right and the right of his association,” he said.
“If they feel they should do that, I am not one to get in the way of it.”