(CMR) Hundreds of Jamaican police dressed in black reportedly protested at the Supreme Court building in Kingston on Thursday for years of overtime payment owed by the Jamaican Government.
Lawyers representing both the police and the Government were expected to reach an agreement on Thursday; however, this did not happen. The police say they will not be backing down as they continue to demand payment.
A pretrial hearing has been set for 16 December. If a settlement isn't reached at the pretrial, the matter is expected to go to trial between 7 January and 8 April next year.
The Government is believed to owe the police over 10 years' hours of overtime equivalent to $1.5 billion.
Ahead of the hearing on Thursday, the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force reportedly gathered outside the court building with placards.
The Jamaica Police Federation, which has brought the suit against the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and the Ministry of National Security, said the police have been working more than 40 hours per week without being compensated.
The claim was filed in May of 2020 and there have been discussions between lawyers for both sides.
The matter was brought before the Supreme Court for an agreement to be announced on an application by Government lawyers. However, Government ministries had not yet communicated their final proposal for payment.
The police are reportedly owed overtime payments since 2008; however, the police were willing to forego the claims from 2008 to 2014. However, the Government wants them to forego the claims from 2008 to 2018.
They would then be compensated over a six-year period for claims dating back to 2019. The federation has rejected this and said it would accept payment on claims since 2015. This cops agreed to a portion of the retroactive payment now and the balance in the next two years.