THE Police Welfare Association (PWA) is calling on the Secretariat of the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) to resume discussion of fringe benefits for members, or face the risk of possible industrial action.
The association, which represents rank-and-file police officers, is among several pleading with the government to initiate or resume negotiations for new agreements to replace those that have expired or are about to.
However, the PWA says it has been experiencing difficulties in even contacting the Government body responsible for negotiations.
”Efforts to contact the Secretary for the GNT have been a daunting task,” said a PWA official in a statement to local online news agency St. Lucia Times.
The statement continued: “It is important to note that the Triennium is soon approaching its end date and nothing tangible has come out of the meetings held.
“The Police Welfare Association is making it clear that its members are frustrated and very interested in the Association’s business to negotiate on their behalf,” the statement said.
The statement called on the authorities to “do the most honourable thing” and cause the GNT to meet the various associations and cause the negotiations to go on peacefully.
“We have been patient and our circumstances surrounding the police have not been the best.
“It must be noted that we operate under the worst of conditions and are being called out from vacation to protect and serve,” the PWA asserted.
According to the association, the GNT through a letter, has indicated that it intends to meet with the PWA within a time period only described as ‘in the near future‘.
“What is that? We call on the public to stand with us as we look to secure tangible benefits for our members at this point in time,” the PWA statement said.
The PWA urged that the GNT has to understand that if they don’t complete by the end of the triennium, it might be ‘a sour period’ for industrial relations in Saint Lucia.