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Police Association “happy” with salary talks

Chairman of the Police Association, Amanda Hermonstine

Even as the Guyana Police Association (GPA) prepared to check up on the health of members of the force, that body has disclosed that it is making progress in securing higher salaries for policemen and women.

Chairman of the GPA, Amanda Hermonstine said her organisation discussed the need for improved salaries with Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee on Monday. “We were assured that things are in the making and we are happy. We are comfortable with what was said to us,” she told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).

Hermonstine said that while her association understood that police were “in dire need of increases in salaries,” the prison and fire services also need a salary hike. “You have to look at it holistically,” she said.

The GPA Chairman could not whether members of the police force would be taking home more money out of the 2014 National Budget. Hermonstine declined to say how much the association is asking for.

However, DemWaves was told that the GPA hopes that the starting salary for a constable would increase by GUY$25,000, just about a 50 percent increase.

DemWaves was also informed that Rohee was expected to make recommendations to the Cabinet before a decision could be made.

Assistant Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine has said that the GPF was unable to retain recruits, partly because of poor salaries. “A key aspect of this whole thing is remuneration. No longer is it always going to love for the job. It’s got to be what’s in it for me,” he has said.  Statistics  show that of an estimated 500 persons recruited at any given time, between 200 to 250 leave for various reasons.

Hermonstine said the one-day Health Fair being held at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary was aimed at encouraging members of the force and their families to take time off from their duties to check various aspects of their health.

Hermonstine said information gathered would be shared with the GPF’s Medical Department. “Police are always on the go. They are sick and not even going to the hospital so they always put work first and sometimes they have to take a reality-check. Their health is important,” she said.

The Health Fair, the first of its kind, coincides with the GPA’s 63rd anniversary and is being funded by the Police Force.