Police Wage Row Heads to Court


The wage dispute between the Jamaica Police Federation and the Simpson Miller administration is shifting to the Courts hours before both parties are scheduled to return to the bargaining table tomorrow.

Police Federation Chairman, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, this afternoon filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking an order to have the injunction obtained by the Government against the union and its members set aside.

Attorney General, Patrick Atkinson, on Tuesday night obtained a 28-day injunction to force protesting rank and file members of the police force to go back to work.

But in documents filed in Court today Sergeant Wilson argued that civil procedure regulations dictate that a respondent, to whom a notice of application was not given, may apply to the court for any order made on the application to be set aside or adjusted.

He says there’s no lawful basis to grant the injunction as there’s no substantive cause of action.

The militant Police Federation Chairman said the Attorney General has put forward no issue to be tried.

And Sergeant Wilson is claiming that Patrick Atkinson has not submitted to the court the part his administration played in the current wage dispute.

The federation chairman is also claiming that the Government’s court action is tantamount to abuse of process.

Sergeant Wilson says if the court were to allow the mandatory injunction to stand, it would have effectively taken away the right of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to negotiate for improved working conditions.

He says if the injunction remains in effect it would also force Police personnel back to work in a situation where they have submitted authentic medical certificates.

He says members are entitled by law to take sick leave and that the federation is not aware of any evidence provided to the court to prove the members are not ill.

Sergeant Wilson argued each sick leave case has to be examined on its own merit before the court can make an order to have individual members return to work.

Wilson is denying that any member of the federation executive caused, or attempted to cause discontent between members of the police force or induce any member to not report to work or commit breaches.

The Police Federation Chairman has asked the Supreme Court to mandate the Attorney General and Police Commissioner, Carl Williams, to prove that this was done by his union.

Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.