By KHRISNA VIRGIL
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Perry Christie yesterday shrugged off the demands of the Police Staff Association (PSA) saying that its president Dwight Smith ought to go through the right channels to resolve issues of overtime pay.
For weeks, the association has been calling for compensation for the officers who are on a 12-hour work day schedule. Mr Smith has also threatened to sue over reimbursement, to which Mr Christie said he was well within his rights to do so.
However, Mr Smith said the association had, as a last resort, tried to get the attention of Mr Christie as Minister of Finance with responsibility for overtime pay, after receiving no word from either Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade or National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage.
Mr Smith said he could not understand why the government refused to attend to the needs of the Association while officials continue to give other uniformed workers the forum to voice their concerns.
“The Police Staff Association president ought first, in my view, to consult his Commissioner and have a meeting with his Commissioner and most certainly his Minister of National Security,” Mr Christie said. “(He) has a relationship with both.
“If he feels he has a case about a policy matter that matter should be dealt with my them and then move on to the Minister of Finance. But the mere thought that he could independently speak to the Minister of Finance on a matter without recourse to the Minister responsible and the Commissioner responsible, it is really clearly inconsistent with best practices.
“It is most certainly something that I will have no interest whatsoever in doing. Until such time as he is able to follow the process.
“With respect to his rights he is always free to go to court if that’s what he wants to do. But that is the right of his Association. I am not one to get in the way.”
Mr Christie added that both Commissioner Greenslade and Dr Nottage have given the assurance that they will handle the matter.