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Police Association secretary: We got no money for Industrial Court case
Himself paying himself. This was the accusation made by some police officers, who have claimed the president and secretary of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association have pocketed union dues when they sought to stop the 21st-century policing initiative.
The association’s secretary, Sgt Michael Seales, however, has denied the claims. He said neither he nor the association’s president, Anand Ramesar, received “one cent.” Both Seales and Ramesar are qualified lawyers. Seales led Ramesar during the proceedings at the Industrial Court on Monday.
The court’s president, Deborah Thomas-Felix, threw out the application, saying the documents were not properly filed. “We cannot pay ourselves. Any payment that would be made must be authorised by the central committee, or the Legal Aid Committee, where it concerns legal matters,” Seales said.
He said there was a standard fee of $1,350 payable to any lawyer in the Police Service who represented another member. “There is a stipend of $850 paid to police officers who are not attorneys who represent their colleagues in a tribunal,” Seales added. The Legal Aid Committee manages the portfolio of the association and has 14 members.
During Monday’s hearing, the court also noted Seales and Ramesar, who are members of the association, were representing their colleagues and told them they should instead hire an independent attorney. But Seales disagreed. He said: “One of the things we understand is the Industrial Court says that any shop steward can represent any worker from any union.
“Ramesar and myself are shop stewards and we are also fortunate to be attorneys.” The Legal Aid Committee offers assistance:
• Where a member is charged with a criminal or traffic offence by the State;
• where a member has been charged with a disciplinary matter;
• where the Police Service has infringed on the rights of a member by breach of the Police Service Regulations 2007 or the collective agreement between the association and the Chief Personnel Officer; and
• matters for judicial review
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