August 05, 2015

At a time when violent crime continues to threaten our very way of life, Bahamians now, more than ever, appreciate the work that police officers do; the sacrifices they make in their own lives to ensure that each of us can feel safer. It appears however that the government does not share the public’s sentiment.

Members of the Police Staff Association who dared to challenge the government on the issue of overtime payments were vindicated by a Supreme Court ruling handed down two weeks ago by Justice Milton Evans. That ruling stemming from a decision by the government to have officers work 12 hour shifts back in September of 2013 and then again in February of 2014 was a culmination of a months’ long legal battle with the government who simply refused to compensate those officers.

Even in the face of this court ruling however, this Christie led government has continued its efforts to deny these hardworking officers their just due. In comments to the media the state minister of National Security Keith Bell announced plans by the government to appeal the court’s decision telling a local daily that the officers ‘are not entitled to it’. 

Over the past several months we have watched as BELL THE BULLY has attempted to browbeat and intimidate members of the police and armed forces who have been critical of the government’s handling of their grievances therefore his opposition to the ruling of the court is not surprising. His latest comments regarding those officers represent more than simply a disregard and lack of appreciation for the many personal sacrifices made during the execution of the 12 hour work shifts, but also is indicative of the government’s departure from the fundamental tenants upon which the PLP was founded.

It is this very departure from these basic tenants that has forced many of the PLP’s new generation leaders to abandon the party’s sinking ship. At the time of his resignation from the party, former Marco City MP Greg Moss raised this very issue, lamenting publicly that this PLP administration ‘no longer abides by founding principles that prompted its rise to power’. 

This PLP government’s decision to appeal the Supreme Court Decision and the insistence of the Jr. Minister that these officers are not entitled to be compensated proves Moss 100% correct.

In its party constitution, the PLP pledges to secure for the workers of the Bahamas, the just fruits of their labor…assisting whenever in their reasonable efforts to protect the just fruits of their labor. Since taking office however, this government has failed on more than one occasion to ensure that the rights of workers have been adequately protected and have in many cases been responsible for trampling on the very rights which they were mandated to protect.

The Democratic National Alliance fully supports the work of the police and call on the government to adhere to the ruling handed down by the court and finally act in the best interest of those who serve and protect.

Christopher Mortimer
DNA Deputy Leader

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Democratic National Alliance - Bahamas

The mission of The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is to ensure that the needs and aspirations of Bahamian people - to be owners with the government in the political, cultural, and economic development of the nation - are met. The DNA is devoted to upholding, protecting, and deepening the democratic rule of law in society by promoting openness and accountability in governmental affairs, social justice and equality, and the right of the people to self-governance and authority in determining their own destiny.