Sunday, February 18, 2018

Calls for CPO to revisit 5%

Prison Officers Association head Cerron Richards yesterday said both his union and the Fire Service Association would meet with the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) early next year to revisit already concluded negotiations. While both groups are set to start fresh negotiations for the 2011-2013 period, the groups were still agitating over the five per cent settlements for the 2008-2010 period.

"I had a conversation with the CPO today and she is willing to meet the parties with a view to resolving the matter," Richards said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Richards said even though both groups accepted and signed off on the five per cent wage offer, subsequent settlements with the Police Service at nine per cent impelled the two groups to call for the principle of parity to be respected.

"I don't know if it is a revisit to the 2008-2010 negotiations but she is willing to discuss it," he said.

Richards said the CPO was willing to revisit the five per cent offer to resolve the "issues emanating" from that settlement.

On Thursday, the Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke held a media conference to explain a similar settlement on an already signed off collective bargaining arrangement.

In an e-mail response to questions regarding the issue of parity across all the protective services yesterday, the CPO's office said "the Associations representing officers of the Prisons and Fire Services have not submitted any proposals to the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) for the period 2011 to 2013 neither has the Chief Personnel Officer made a proposal to the Associations in respect of the period.  Should the Associations submit proposals to the CPO, these will be considered and discussions will be held thereon with the Associations," the office said.

But, like Duke, while Richards believed that the meeting was to revisit the 2008-2010 agreement and resolve the issues that unequal settlement triggered, the CPO's office said "the terms contained therein are binding on all the parties to the agreements".

"The various Associations concluded negotiations with the CPO for revised terms and conditions of employment (including salaries) for the period 2008 to 2010 and Memoranda of Agreement embodying these revised terms and conditions were signed between the parties at varying times over the period April 2011 to March 2012," the CPO's office said.