Soldiers sign off on 4% wage increase

Home*Cover Story*News

Soldiers sign off on 4% wage increase

The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) has accepted government’s four per cent wage increase offer.

This according to a release from Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Dr Darryl Dindial on Friday, which confirmed that the Defence Force signed off on the offer which covers the collective bargaining periods, 2014-2016, and 2017-2019.

The statement noted that the TTDF was represented by its Pay Review Committee.

“The TTDF’s proposal supported its philosophy of compensation and focused heavily on the improvement of its operational capabilities, attracting and retaining talent and recognising its members’ sacrifices. A major strategic area of focus by the TTDF was strengthening its air capability to conduct search and rescue, reconnaissance, and surveillance missions. The TTDF is of the firm view those areas will improve the country’s maritime and border control systems and it will have a direct impact in supporting the combat of crime and criminality,” the statement said.

The TTDF also received new allowances for its instructors conducting basic recruit training, radar operator/technicians, dog handling, increments for its Permanent Reservists, allowances for front line operators engaged in inter-agency task force and maritime duties and incentive allowances for pilots and aviation engineers as they seek to rebuild their air capability.

The statement added, “Additionally, subject to the approval of the Cabinet, the Force received consideration for a Special Missions Allowance for regional operations and compensation for a part-time “Strategic Think Tank”. The latter is intended to support the development and modernization of the TTDF to improve on the delivery of its mandate, treat with new and emerging threats, the development of doctrine, its military justice system, wellness system and revised recruitment, performance management and training standards.”

“The CPO wishes to sincerely recognise the engaging and decisive leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Darryl Daniel, the Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Brigadier General Dexter Francis and the Command Group of the TTDF for demonstrating yet again the TTDF’s ability to balance its expectations with their key goal of enhancing the operational requirements of the Force within our nation’s current realities. The CPO advises the discussions were difficult and often tense but the TTDF demonstrated the remarkable trait of compromise, understanding, and strategic thinking in the discussions. They remained steadfast and professional to seek the best they can for its members and the future development of the Force to deliver more to the nation.”

It said that CPO Dr Daryl Dindial “recognises the critical role of the military in many aspects of our nation’s development, ranging from youth development, deploying to support our neighbouring countries in times of disaster and humanitarian relief and supporting law enforcement agencies with internal security.”

“The CPO thanks the members of the TTDF for their continued selfless devotion to duty in the protection and defence of our nation’s sovereignty in one of the noblest professions, the profession of arms.”

This makes the Defence Force the second branch within the public service to sign off on the offer after the Amalgamated Workers Union, which represents daily-paid workers in the Port of Spain Corporation, did so several weeks ago.

Newsday was told this was the first time since the 1970 Black Power Revolution that