Categorized | National News

BCOA President Demands Respect from Gov’t

President of the Bahamas Correctional Officers Association (BCOA) Gregory Archer renewed calls for justice yesterday regarding a number of issues he said prison officers are facing.

Mr. Archer demanded that the government show more respect to the Security Forces of The Bahamas and said the association is “tired of the run-around” its receiving from government officials.

He noted that a meeting was supposed to take place nearly three months ago in regards to issues such as insurance, salaries, promotions and gratuities. However, that meeting has not occurred.

“The minister promised from last year that promotions would’ve been shortly after the Defence Force. This is now a new year and the fourth month of the year and we have not seen a promotion,” Mr. Archer said.

“All of the other issues are still the same – mold, rats running through prison, better gratuities, better salaries – we’re still addressing them and nobody’s hearing us. Can you imagine a correctional officer has not received an increase in salary in 11 years, but ironically you call us ‘essential force’? That’s a bad way to treat us,” he added.

According to Mr. Archer, a number of prison officers called in sick about two months ago due to complaints of unsanitary conditions.

Nearly a month ago, the BCOA participated in a Walk for Hope in an effort to address these pending issues.

However, Mr. Archer noted that instead of addressing these pressing issues that he believes were created by successive governments, some government officials have issued threats.

He was referring to Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell’s comments made in the Senate two weeks ago, where he stated that the government would “deal with” the security forces because of their participation in the walk.

“These things are becoming repetitious and every time we do something the junior minister will come and lash out with some derogative statement. Instead of resolving the problem, you create more problems because of your threats,” Mr. Archer said.

“How many times am I going to voice our concerns? We send documents with our concerns with the problems and solutions. Successive governments have failed us in not addressing the matters with the right people,” he added.
According to Mr. Archer, the association is seeking legal advice as to their next course of action if issues are not resolved.

The Security Forces of the Bahamas has a matter concerning gratuities pending in court.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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