A Jamaica Observer file photo of police officers at a crime scene. More police are expected on the road this holiday weekend as rank-and-file members of the constabulary who reported sick have started returning to work.

A number of rank-and-file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force have started returning to work, according to the constabulary’s Corporate Communication Unit (CCU).

The CCU, in a release yesterday, said the highest number of police who reported sick was 2,730 on Wednesday, but by yesterday that number was down to 1,712 and continued to be reduced.

The rank-and-file members of the constabulary — constable to sergeant — have been on sick-out to protest against the Government’s failure to up its wage offer from six per cent over a two-year period.

In the meantime, the Jamaica Police Federation, which represents the disgruntled policemen and women, said yesterday that it is “flabbergasted and blindsided by the comments reported in the media by the Office of the Prime Minister, through the director of communications Mr Robert Morgan, which outlined that they received both letters from the Jamaica Police Federation on Thursday, 28 of December 2017”.

General Secretary of the Police Federation Sergeant Cecil McCalla said the first letter asking for a meeting with Prime Minister Andrew Holness was sent via fax on December 20 and was subsequently hand-delivered on December 21.

“The correspondence specified that having met with the minister of finance, the Honourable Audley Shaw and his team on numerous occasions, there has been no meaningful consensus as it concerns the salary negotiation for the 2017 – 2019 period, hence the Police Federation is requesting an urgent meeting to attain a timely and reasonable outcome to these lengthy negotiations,” the release said.

General Secretary McCalla said he is disappointed that the Office of the Prime Minister is just responding to the request, however, he said the Police Federation is anxiously awaiting that meeting with the prime minister.