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Correct CoP salary anomaly

Saturday, August 4, 2018

While the public is still caught up in the debate on the pros and cons of the selection of former national security minister Gary Griffith as the new Commissioner of Police, something has slipped under the radar. The issue at hand is the major discrepancy in the salary range for applicants from within the T&T Police Service (TTPS) and those outside it.

Indeed, if reports on the issue are accurate, there seems to be an imbalance in favour of non-TTPS applicants. Information in the public domain suggests that external applicants have an opportunity to negotiate, while officers from within the ranks are confined to a range set down by the Salary Review Commission to the tune of $31,080 plus perks.

This was the same anomaly that allowed Canadians Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski to earn salaries in the $100,000-plus range during their tenures. Of course, there is the argument that candidates from outside the service, because of their expertise in various fields, should be entitled to wages equivalent to the private sector for such levels of employment.

However, there is also the counter-argument that these individuals lack the policing experience needed for such a critical position in the national security chain of command. It would thus seem that the arguments level themselves off. So why is there such a big salary discrepancy?

This is one of the areas the Police Social and Welfare Association, we are sure, has an issue with. We are also fully aware of the moral issues which exist in the TTPS, a situation which Mr Griffith will now be saddled with coming in because of a process he has no control over. The Police Service Commission must therefore take steps to make this a more level playing field, especially to the officers who have dedicated the majority of their productive lives to protecting and serving citizens with pride.

Ministry must reward athletes

Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe will have her hands full when all the successful athletes return from the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Colombia. This is because the Minister will surely have to put things in place to begin processing payments to the athletes who have qualified for monetary rewards under the new National Policy on Sport (NPS).

The NPS was announced by former minister Darryl Smith in March but since then there has been no word on disbursements to athletes who qualified, dating back to their exploits since 2015. But the policy only addressed Olympic and World Championship Games efforts and not regional events like the CAC Games, so it is not clear whether these current athletes will benefit monetarily.

In this regard, we are happy the T&T Olympic Committee has announced its plan to reward the CAC athletes. But it is high time athletes who previously qualified for NPS incentives are given their just rewards.


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