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Police Federation satisfied with Supreme Court ruling

Corporal Rohan James, Chairman of the Police Federation, has said he is satisfied with the ruling of the Supreme Court in relation to its lawsuit against the government for overtime pay.

The full court panel ruled on Friday that the heads of agreement signed since 2008 between the Police Federation and the Ministry of Finance as well as the Ministry of National Security are binding on the government, and created a legitimate expectation among the rank and file cops that they would be paid for overtime work. 

The Supreme Court also ordered that the government put a system in place by March 2023 to capture the actual hours worked by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. 

Responding to the ruling, Corporal James said the next step is to ensure that the overtime payment system is implemented as ordered by the court.

Mr. James appealed to rank and file members to be patient during the implementation process, noting that the pursuit of justice "is always a long haul". 

"We have been waiting and we have reached this far and it is incumbent that we go the distance to ensure that all the members who have sacrificed with their lives, blood, sweat and tears, that they are given full recompense," he said. 

Jacqueline Samuels Brown, the Police Federation's attorney, lamented that it took court action to get the government to abide by the heads of agreement.

"We note that it was not until this hearing started that there was a definitive statement that the system to be put in place and the financing would be made available so that the contractual obligations of the government could be enforced and that that would be done by March of 2023. We wish it could be earlier but sometimes, you know, what they say, when your foot is in a lion's mouth, you have to be careful how you take it out."