I remember distinctly one year when Uncle Adam wanted to paint over his house, he wrote a column suggesting that Peeping Tom was interested in Christmas bonus.
He was simply using my name as a way of reminding the boss that he expected a little something extra because he needed to spruce up the appearance of his mansion.
Peeping Tom became the medium through which he was able to communicate to the boss. He used my name to say what he really wanted to say.
I was reminded about that incident recently when I read the comments that the Commissioner of Police Henry Greene made at a recent presentation ceremony for his ranks. It struck me that Green was addressing the wrong person.
It was not Peeping Tom that he needed to remind that the police deserved their annual incentive. It was not Peeping Tom who needed to be reminded that we still have an acting Commissioner of Police. It is Jagdeo that the Commissioner should be addressing.
Yes, I agree that the police deserve the one month bonus that has been given to them for years now by the President. They did a fantastic job this year and in fact, if I had my way I would make it two months’ salary for each rank of the Guyana Police Force. I would also confirm the Commissioner and give him a massive increase on the spot.
The Peeper however does not have executive power, and so all I can do at this stage is support any call that is made on behalf of the Guyana Police Force asking that they be paid the bonus which they have grown accustomed to receiving from President Jagdeo.
I know that the President is in a tight spot this year. Public sector workers have not received any back pay this year since the annual increase was imposed on them in January of this year instead of been paid retroactively around this time.
For the past five years, public servants had been accustomed to receiving this increase and some had begun to assume that there was an entitlement to a bonus.
There is not. The retroactive pay is not a bonus. It is merely the annual increase in salary which over the past five years was paid in December but retroactive to January of the same year.
It should also be borne in mind that sugar workers received a pittance through an arbitration award, and like public sector workers, the increase is unable to compensate for last year’s massive 14 per cent inflation.
In light of this situation where all workers are now worse off than they were one year ago, it may be asking the President too much to fork out a few hundred million dollars to find the money to pay a bonus to the police, army, prison service and the fire service.
I believe, however, that special consideration must be given to the remarkable success the police and army achieved this year in dismantling criminal terror networks in our country.
I believe that given the threats that this country faced from the Fine Man gang and the Gibson gang, the joint services more than deserve a bonus this year.
I also reaffirm my belief that the Chief of Staff of the army should be promoted and the Commissioner of Police should be confirmed in his job and given a raise in salary.
This year some one billion dollars was spent on Carifesta. Early next year, couple of hundred million is going to be spent on Mashramani.
I have a suggestion. I would say cancel next year’s Mashramani and spend the money instead on giving the police a bonus this Christmas.
We already had Carifesta this year and considering that things are so tight that the government could not give public sector workers their traditional Christmas party, I would urge that we could cancel Mash for next year and pay the police instead a bonus this Christmas.
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