Fire Service Associations (1st & 2nd Division) executives accepted the CPO’s 4% pay.
Leo Ramkissoon, president of the Fire Services Association, said they were unhappy to accept the offer but had no other alternative.
“We were between an extremely difficult place and a rock so we had to (sign),” Ramkissoon told the Express in a telephone interview.
“The membership gave us the mandate to accept the four percent given the court ruling, especially that whatever they ruled would be applicable for ten years,” Ramkissoon added.
The Fire Services Association argued for a higher salary offer than the CPO’s four percent in a special tribunal at the Industrial Court in Port of Spain.
The CPO reported Wednesday that the fire services had accepted the four percent compensation offer after an emergency meeting with their members, who voted in favor.
“The Fire Service Associations signed off on a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) accommodating the four per cent salary increase for 2014-2016 and 2017-2019,” it read.
The associations also approved a 4% wage increase, allowance enhancements, and benefits changes.
“There were adjustments to allowances like protective suit maintenance, house and meal, traveling and facilities, special responsibility, special Tobago allowance, cost of living allowance (COLA), and a lump-sum payment of $4,000 to officers who retired compulsorily, voluntarily, and with permission on the grounds of illness for 2014–2015.
The release also includes additional allocations for land, search and rescue, legal unit, computer technology, and air conditioning technology, as well as a job review exercise.
According to the announcement, CPO Commander Dr. Daryl Dindial remarked that the State shown its commitment to honoring its offer during talks, despite the subject being brought to the Industrial Court’s special tribunal.
He stated that the State’s function as an employer and economy manager cannot be separated.
Dindial reported wage freezes in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Jamaica.
He stated that some Caricom countries retrenched public servants to cut costs. He’s grateful this wasn’t us.
The CPO appreciates Trinidad and Tobago’s fire officers for their dedication to public service and civilian safety. He noted that the personnel department is working on numerous topics to enhance the life, welfare, and well-being of our fire officers and other stakeholders.