National Security Minister Wayne Caines plans to appeal on “some points” of law in the Supreme Court ruling won by the Prison Officers Association (POA) against a Labour Disputes Tribunal.
But in a statement released on Wednesday (February 19), he said the Government would not appeal the prison officers’ win over payment of Government Employee Health Insurance contributions — or their pay award.
To be clear, he said that the Government is not appealing the GEHI aspect of the ruling. That ruling stands.
This after Chief Justice Narinder Hargun ruled that a Labour Dispute Tribunal acted beyond its powers when it said that prison officers would have to start to pay the employee portion of Government Employee Health Insurance contributions last August.
He also quashed the tribunal’s order that the POA should accept a 2.5 percent pay increase for 2017-18 and a two percent increase the following year.
Mr Caines said the ministry was “appealing other areas of the judgment that we view in law to be incorrect”.
“As I have always stated, as the minister with responsibility for the Department of Corrections, it is always my desire to find harmonious ways of dealing with and managing disputes,” he added.
Moving forward, he said the Ministry would continue to work with the Prison Officers Association and had found “some success in some areas”.
“Our aim is to move forward with the POA in a spirit of good will. We are not disputing the GEHI or pay award aspect of the judgment. But we are appealing other areas of the judgment that we view in law to be incorrect.
“As I have always stated, as the Minister with responsibility for the Department of Corrections, it is always my desire to find harmonious ways of dealing with and managing disputes.
“The Ministry will continue to work with the POA to address all matters of concern. We’ve had some success in some areas. And we will build upon that success by working with the POA to resolve any outstanding issues.”