Bahamas, May 29th 2017 – Nassau – Police Officers entitled to overtime pay began receiving payments on Monday. The promise – which came from former Prime Minister Dr. Perry Christie one month ago – is now to be kept by the newly elected FNM government. This is according to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Peter Turnquest.
The long-awaited overtime allowances have been two years in the making. However, officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force – after being promised by Christie back in April – were concerned if they would ever receive the funds, since the 2017 election did not work in Christie’s favor. Yesterday, however, officers were be able to breathe with relief since it was reported that overtime cheques will be issued between Monday 29th – Wednesday 31st May, from 9am to 4pm at the Police Training College.
It is uncertain whether the Minnis-led administration would go about delivering the payments the same way Christie assured it would be done, since the Finance Minister recently admitted that the new government would have to borrow funds in order to pay the overtime. However, it is alleged that over $2M in overtime will be distributed to almost 1,800 officers from Monday. This does not include the deceased or reserved officers who were also promised overtime by Christie.
However, leader of the opposition, Phillip Brave Davis recently said, “The PLP has left the instructions in place to pay it and the FNM has now carried out our commitment.”
In July 2015, Supreme Court Justice Milton Evans ruled that the government will have to pay the outstanding overtime owed to officers who worked 12-hour shifts from July – December 2013 or give them the equivalent time off from work. Mere days before officers took to the polling station, Christie made the announcement at a PLP rally that overtime will be paid to the entitled officers, including those deceased and retired. Christie boldly stated that the payments would be issued in two trenches, one on May 29th and the other some time during the next budget cycle.
Story By: Kay-Marie Fletcher