Police Welfare Association to fight hard for members on its own
The Police Welfare Association (PWA) believes it is in a better position to get benefits for its members now that it is no longer attached to the Trade Union Federation (TUF).
This was made clear by its president, Travis Chiquot, at a news conference today held to announced the PWA’s withdrawal from the TUF after more than a dozen or so years as a member.
“I must say the move has been a subject of many discussions of the membership and finally they have decided that the time is appropriate to recognize our own autonomy,” Chiquot said.
He said the PWA was now at a time and place when it must articulate, negotiate and agitate for what is best for its members.
“We all know the saying to who much is given, much is expected. And we know that this has not been the case for the police as we have been given very little while much has been expected,” he said.
The PWA this week rejected two proposals from the government relating to the 2016 – 2019 and 2019 – 2022 agreements.
One rejection was of the government’s $1,500 bonus to members as a one-off payment on the condition that there would be no negotiations on salaries for the 2016 – 2019 triennium.
As a show of how strong the PWA can be on its own, Chiquot said that salary negotiations for the 2016 – 2019 agreement should be concluded in March of next year.
“The PWA will continue to negotiate on behave of our members for our fringe benefits and continue from time to time to meet with the employer and the government negotiating team (GNT) to discuss the collective agreement already submitted for the triennium 2016 – 2019,” Chiquot said.
He added, “We are looking at insurances, we are looking to get our proficiency and vocational on the book. We are looking for everything we can get from this country in equity because we continue to serve and invest in this country as police officers. We believe that if cash cannot be given something can be given so that we can bring ease to our police officers at this point in time” Chiquot said.
He said that the PWA’s time with the TUF “was never a lost situation” it was just that members believed they stood a greater chance at achieving more on their own than with the TUF.
“We do not want to sit by and allow opportunities to pass and our members do not get the opportunities. We believe in adding value to our members and we believe 2019 would be the year of adding extra value to our members,” he said.
The PWA president said that in the coming days and weeks it will articulate to government its position as it relates to the condition of work for its members. “The PWA believes that to who much is expected much should be given,” Chiquot said.
He called on members to be the professionals they pledged to be and give to the country a fair day’s work “as we are going to ask of the employer to cooperate with us for a fair day’s pay.”
Chiquot promised to fight hard to see that police officers are adequately financed come next year.
“We will continue to challenge the decision makers on our members’ behalf to ensure their voices are heard. We will never shy away from doing this,” he said.