300 police officers ‘slighted’

Over 300 police officers were excluded from the $1,400 lump sum payment promised by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, Police Staff Association (PSA) Chairman Sergeant Sonny Miller told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.

Miller said those officers feel “slighted”.

“I really need the government to fix this,” Miller said.

Of about 4,000 officers in the association, only those that are on contract and have “reached pension” were excluded, according to Miller.

“The officers from constable to sergeant who have reached 25 years [of service] and are currently on pension, they are signing year-to-year and I’ve been made aware that they were excluded from this,” Miller said.

“However, a couple of days ago, I heard where Mr. [John] Pinder, the director of labor, responded to it, indicating the officers who are on contract year-to-year will not get it – all police officers from sergeant and below are on contract.

“So, his comments really don’t validate or I don’t see how it gives us an answer as to why they didn’t get it. But again, we are seeking the government’s assistance [f]or those officers to be rewarded with the $1,400 payment as well.

“We are seeking to find out why [those officers] were excluded from it, because they’re still serving members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force despite reaching 25 years of service or more.”

Miller said he has a “major problem” that no one explained why the officers were excluded.

“We are asking the government to intervene and hope these officers are rewarded because they’re still members of the Police Staff Association and still serving members – a key part – of the Royal Bahamas Police Force,” he said.

“Speaking with my members and again, from that statement was made, I have been getting a lot of calls. Officers feel slighted by not receiving it.

“They’re feeling less appreciated, despite the fact of still having to go and serve members of the public.”

Miller said he referred the matter to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, who promised to look into it.

The Guardian was unable to reach Dames on the matter yesterday.

On Friday, Minister of National Insurance and Public Service Brensil Rolle said it was the government’s intention to pay all 22,000 public service employees a lump sum payment of $1,400.

However, he later confirmed that not all workers would be eligible to receive the payment after all.

He said the lump sum payments were to be paid to members of the Bahamas Public Services Union (BPSU); teachers; permanent employees who are paid weekly; members of the uniformed branches (police, customs, defense force, immigration, etc); and Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) staff, including doctors and nurses (does not include consultant doctors).

He also indicated who will not be paid: other government authorities and corporations; members of the judicial branch; contract workers hired outside the Public Service Commission; 52-week program employees; air traffic controllers; ministers and members of Parliament.

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