Thursday, January 27, 2005

MOD stands firm on ‘overpayment’ despite GSP protest

* GSPSA consulted throughout, says Defence spokesman

A silent protest by Gibraltar Services Police officers took part outside the Naval Base yesterday afternoon to complain against the Ministry of Defence over a series of unresolved pay and pay-related claims.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Defence responded to the criticisms made by the GSP staff association and in a statement issued last night expressed their disappointment with the action but reaffirmed their position in the continuing dispute.

An MOD statement said:

We note the action taken by the Gibraltar Services Police Staff Association with disappointment, particularly as the dispute has already been the subject of lengthy discussion through internal consultation, legal and ministerial correspondence. As this dispute is now the subject of potential litigation, the MOD is unable to discuss the case in detail. The MOD has though, involved the GSPSA at all stages of the process but there remains reluctance by the GSPSA to accept the MOD position.

Following investigations into the GSPSA’s claim of underpayment, the MOD found that mistakes in the implementation of various changes in pay and allowances had, in fact, resulted in a 3% overpayment to some GSP officers. In June 03 the MOD informed the GSPSA at a meeting of the local Whitley Committee that their claim had now been rejected and spelt out the reasons. The Whitley Process is the Department’s recognised discussion forum for staff and management.

MOD officials in Gibraltar wrote to the Chairman of the GSPSA in February 2004 setting out in detail the rationale of the Department’s position. This explained that, despite the fact that the overpayment has been paid since 1994, recovery action would only be taken for the last 12 months. The subject was discussed again at the GSPSA Whitley meeting in May 2004. In June 2004 Officials wrote to each individual affected by the overpayment explaining that recovery action would be taken. A subsequent letter was sent in November 2004 reconfirming the intent to deduct monies owed. Headquarters British Forces are now implementing the deductions at the end of this month.

The MOD is fully committed to good employee relations. Officials met with the GSPSA at the Whitley meeting as recently as 10 Dec 04 and will continue to converse using the Whitley process. However, the MOD stands firm on their position regarding the issue of overpayment.


GSP: NO RIGHT TO STRIKE

In common with their UK counterparts Ministry of Defence Police members of the GSP are excluded from the provisions of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act of 1974. This means that they are debarred from taking any form of industrial action or strike. A spokesman for the GSP staff association said:

However the Police Federations in UK were able to renegotiate the Police Reform Bill after applying pressure to the UK Government by way of a protest held at Westminster in the form of a silent picketing by a cross section of all UK Police Services.

The GSP are carrying out the same kind of protest as that of their UK colleagues. The protest will be repeated at the same time this afternoon.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home