Joint Protective Services Associations reject COVID vaccine mandate in T&T

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Members of the Joint Protective Services Associations, have hit back against plans of mandating government workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In an emergency meeting on Sunday, the heads of the Protective Services Associations comprising the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social & Welfare Association, the Prison Officers’ Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Second Division, and the Fire Service Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Second Division, sought to address the announcement made by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, for the mandatory vaccination  of all Government Workers starting in January.

The members of the association said that the “varying of Terms and Conditions of Employment without consultation is illegal and goes against all established Industrial Relations Practices/Laws, as articulated by the President of the Industrial Court, Mrs Deborah Thomas-Felix.”

The association added that everyone has the constitutional right to the enjoyment of property and for workers that is their salaries.

“The announcement threatens to violate those rights, which we utterly reject. We have deemed the action to impose a “quasi safe zone” work environment as being Discriminatory against the Protective Services given our daily functions with the general public and prisoners, who are not conditioned to such mandates.”

The statement also said that the Government must make an official pronouncement on workers concerns over claims of Liabilities for adverse reactions associated to the vaccination.

“The Protective Services and by extension the Essential Services have been steadfast in their duties during the pandemic, while other public officers enjoy the luxury of being at home. Immediate steps should be taken to appropriately compensate these workers.”

“Collectively, as the bargaining bodies for members of the Protective Services, we will continue to defend the interest of our members and have always sought consultation with the Prime Minister, the Minister of National Security and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. Nevertheless, we will not allow our members constitutional rights to be trampled upon.” (CMC)

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