Adriel Brathwaite addresses 50th Anniversary AGM of Barbados Police Association at Solidarity House

It's hard to believe, but Robo-Cop was a Union-Buster check it out!

If anyone watches the Robocop series, the main reason he was created is to be a scab against Unionised and/or Privatised Police who became so structured when Detroit’s crime got the better of Officers who decided Gunplay Vs. Pay meant that Crime Pays unless they get their Doughnut Break and complimentary Kevlar…

That is an oversimplification yet the basic premise holds forth – Police all over the world where government can prevent it, do not allow them to be Unionised – the areas where you can find such restrictions bypassed are Campus Officers on most universities and probably Security on large compounds which are like cities unto themselves.

Union regulations are a necessary evil, I recall when CBC and myself had many arguments about whether or not I was Anchor (when it suited their needsi.e. if they need an On-Call Presenter then YES, but if I want more money? NO), so I recall when I suggested that since I had a Presentation Allowance which did not need to be ratified by the Union, then why not increase my scale there? Next thing I know the Union Rep at CBC without my knowledge nor Permission allows my Presentation Allowance to be incorporated into my salary as a whole! The next year, 2004, I tried running for Union President and lost only by two votes. By 2005, I left for Sanitation…

The real important content of Wednesday’s presentation came from Station Sergeant Michael Sobers – President of the Barbados Police Association (BPA), he made a similar plea – since Police are deemed Public Sector then give favourable increases to whichever allowances they’re entitled such as Laundry among other benefits. He reiterated previous calls from previous BPA regimes for the following services to be implemented; – Officers of certain rank (to be established) should be able to go to Central Purchasing and receive Petrol at cost, Government should offer a comprehensive medical plan and Insurance and pay for same, Overtime should be automatic for Bank Holidays, Hazardous Pay Allowance for Constables and Inspectors whose duties literally put them more in the Line of Fire (SSA has Hazardous pay for Lorryloaders & Drivers plus Operators at all Landfills including Bagatelle Metal Facility), Retirement after 25 years of service with 75% of salary, and a Compulsory Retirement of 55 years (I wondered if this last comment was a dig at Darwin Dottin?) – needless to say, all present gave Brother Sobers a standing Ovation!

Then it was Mr Brathwaite’s turn, he alerted everyone very early to the fact that his Opening Speech is for the Media and the balance of his presentation was to be a closed-door Q&A session with officers only, no Media, to hear what their genuine concerns were…

The AG wanted Officers to remember that even if they are off Duty they are seen as ON, such as at Cricket Matches and when they do or say things they may not ordinarily do, then the AG hears no end of the alleged infraction...

According to Attorney General of Barbados, Adriel Brathwaite, Land is to be acquired to expand Barbadian Police stations, yet no indication is made if the property used to expand facilities for Officers in both Boarded Hall & Blackrock is a compulsory or voluntary acquisition. The AG also admits that Temporary quarters may in fact last a few years which is not entirely respectful to the Police who risk their lives daily for all Barbados – this brings to mind the “temporary” facilities at Vaucluse for SSA employees, now there for nearly a decade.

While a valid concern from the BPA is that wounded Policemen or Policewomen are given first glance at the QEH, how does this gel with the stricter practises of Triage as done by Medical Staff in extreme situations? You may have an officer with a broken bone, but what if a citizen from a private home accident has injured themselves where surgery and/or blood is necessary? The Police still get Priority in such an instance?

The AG hints there may come a time when Barbados would have to look further afield for Recruits, but they are making “One Last Push” – if current modified Standards are not encouraging the correct Candidate, then why not seek to increase the pay from where it can be drawn without hurting the average Bajan?

Any celebrities or movie stars who wish to buy a Mansion here, then include a Lien or Surcharge of about 1 to 3 % when Real Estate is $500-thousand or more, take the surplus raised from this venue and apply to the Allowances for the Royal Barbados Police Force. I posed this question to the AG and here’s what he felt {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

In Mr Brathwaite’s view with curricula at UWI almost all for free, that education is not a problem here; with regards to Aloowances he feels this is also a way of placing Police above the Public Sector but he claims he wishes to find a way forward.

I also looked at education as a means of drawing a higher standard of applicants to become interested in Law Enforcement and I seemed to have fallen into a Catch-22 with the AG {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR FULL AUDIO};-

He says many Officers have Master’s Degres and therefore training is not a hindrance, but if you have an Officer with a Master’s degree should he not master his wages?

The answer seems clear to me – you have to grant Police better Allowances if you want them to stay, you certainly cannot look at Overseas pool of resources to handle crime in Barbados if you are not delivering a better monetary package than where they originate from; and you can’t pay Foreigners better than Locals, so where is the next step? If you want the omelette so badly, then you have to break the egg somewhere – right?

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  1. i have a husband who lives there. he has been in the police force for the past twenty years. he has permant residency in the usa but was unable to give up his position has a police officer because he is afraid he would loose his pension. which i think is rather stupid that police officers are unable to retire after twenty years when the officers in the usa can retire with a pension after twenty years with medical benefits and more i think the respect for police officers in barbados is very poor and they are not treated fairly the govement and the minister for defence should look into this matter not for my sake but for others that have put more years than my husband has put in the service concern wife hoping that changes would come soon yours j


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