Police want missing leave time back

| 23/09/2021 | 32 Comments
Cayman News Service
RCIPS officers on parade (file photo)

(CNS): Police officers in the RCIPS have asked a court to give them back their missing vacation time, arguing that they lost as much as a third of the leave entitlement they used to have due to a change in the shift policy that was implemented at the beginning of this year. As a judicial review case filed by the police association opened in Grand Court on Wednesday, attorney Guy Dilliway-Parry of Priestleys said a change in how leave had been calculated for decades resulted in uniform officers across the board, even very long-serving officers, losing on average around seven days vacation time per year.

He argued the change in shift policy was contrary to the statute on police pay and benefits; it was also illogical and undermined serving officers’ legitimate expectations.

Historically, police leave had been calculated in line with the rest of the public sector, based on multiples of 7.5 hours, or an average work day. But when the police commissioner introduced a new shift policy without any changes to the police law or regulations, this ushered in a new way to calculate annual leave, which amounts to this substantial reduction to the annual leave entitlement for police working the ‘four days on, four days off’ 12- or 13-hour shifts on the front line.

Arguing the case before Acting Justice Kirsty-Ann Gunn, Dilliway-Parry said that there had been very limited consultation on the new policy, which clearly deprived officers of holiday time, and changing the calculation from the basis of a seven-hour day to an 11-hour day meant that officers working longer shifts were getting less time off.

He asked the court to rule that the policy is unlawful and to reinstate the previous method of leave calculation, as well as to compensate the officers, who have all lost more than a week’s holiday already this year.

The officers have not rejected the rest of the policy that has created an 8-day cycle in which they work 12-hour days, sometimes longer, on the basis of four days on, four days off. But the RCIPS uniform officers impacted by the new policy argue that their leave entitlement has been severely undermined because of the change to the calculation method.

Visiting attorney Jevon Alcock, representing the Attorney General’s Chambers, argued that the new shift pattern enabled the officers to get more leave because they could manipulate the shift patterns, though he was unable to say where in the policy this was written down.

He accused the Royal Cayman Islands Police Association of “cherry picking what they did and didn’t like” from the new policy, and claimed that people hadn’t complained about it, which prompted Dilliway-Parry to note that this judicial review contradiction that point.

The AG’s lawyer also argued that the policy was not unlawful but was based on best practice and in line with shift policies in the UK.

The case continues.

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Category: Local News, Police

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So these are your days off.
    You work days 7am to 7pm you then work two late 7pm to 7am
    You are then in your first day off sleeping to catch up having worked all night. You then try to get into a sleep pattern.
    But on your third day off you start at 7am in the morning the next day
    It is a terrible pattern and health experts agree

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can we have the missing police service back?

  3. William says:

    Arrogant and overpaid

  4. Anon says:

    This is absolutely funny. Funny because it shows how utterly thick the police association are. The police have moved to a ‘continental’ shift pattern which is recognised globally as better for a worklife balance and is less stressful to work. This means in practice annual leave goes from being allocated in days to hours. So ten days becomes 75 hours becausd each day under the old system was 7.5 hours long. It is true they can book less days off now because they have to use 12 hours per shift minus whatever it is they get for lunch because they’re not paid to work it. BUT and this is a big but, they get 6 months off work with half of all days rest days. So for an officer to book 12 days leave under the old shifts would take 8 days leave or 60 hours. Now it would take 48hrs or 44 if they get an hour for lunch each day. So while it is true to say the number of ‘days’ (12hr shifts) is less by using leave wisely they can get longer periods away from work using less annual leave than they would’ve done under the old system. The law firm taking money from them to fight this needs striking off because it is completely without merit abd a waste of police association funds to fight. The issue over what law governs this, being the Police Law or the Public Sector Management law is just a way to try and take powers of tge Commissioner away by suggesting the PSML takes precedence. It doesn’t and even if it fid UK practice will rein over all of this with the ultimate Privy Council following UK practice. So suck it up RCIPS and actually do your jobs and stop moaning. Funds paying gir this action are highly likely to have been sourced fraudulently as officers have been fraudulently claiming single periods of overtime repeatedly for pay and the association takes 25% of each claim. Yet that was audited by the Auditor General but nothing done about it yet. That audit was started 2 or 3 years ago and I suspect it has uncovered industrial levels of fraud by Caymanian and Jamaican officers that I believe it is being buried. If I’m right, how does the public feel about being policed by corrupt officers. Not well I presume.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very well explained. Now explain it to the Police Association aka The Jamaican Police Association. Because they obviously can’t do basic arithmetic.

    • Tundi says:

      Sorry you are so wrong.
      The UK Police Federation opposed the 4 on 4 off from day one and has been scrapped by every police force in the UK.
      They also engaged health experts who also concluded it was detrimental to health and public interactions due to officers being permenatly tired.
      Just Google it

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait what. The old system you get 10 days, the new system you get 75 hours (or 3.125 days). Who on earth would agree to that. Don’t be ridiculous.

    • Anon says:

      Every other country who work extended hour shift patterns calculate their vacation allowance in hours. What’s so difficult to understand here??
      The argument seems to simple-They wish to take an 11hr day using only 7.5 hrs allowance. I suspect a primary school pupil could see that doesn’t add up!!
      As mentioned already the law firm pressing this should be ashamed of themselves- unless it’s on a no win no fee basis- and I doubt they are that dumb!
      The Police Association is a shambles and has now given a unrealistic expectation to its members who themselves should have a modicum of common sense and know what’s being asked for is nonsense. These officers get 182 days off a year as opposed to the 104 Monday to Friday brigade across all of the civil service. If some clown agrees with the argument they will get another 77 hours so effectively 10 more vacation days than the rest of their colleagues.
      How does that feel?

  5. Anonymous says:

    get rid of 50% of them. rcips is overstaffed with underworked, lazy, bullies. ….and generally full of people who could not get a job in the real world.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Seems the change was made without a reasoned justification. Is that enough to reject it?

  7. Anonymous says:

    You have to feel for the CIG lawyers (hired in from outside this time) when they get one of these cases and just throw whatever they can think of out there and cross their fingers because they know its a weak case with no real defence. Like the defence attorneys sometimes trying to claim ‘previous good character’.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t the leave accrued be calculated on an hourly, rather than daily, basis in any case? Seeking an additional average of 7 days when each working day is now longer (but less of them in a calendar year) seems a stretch. If the leave benefit hours are equivalent to the previous system, since a shift-day does not equal a pre-shift day, then it doesn’t appear they are worse off or have “lost” benefits.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Company and government always looking to thief vacation and benefits from their workers.

    I hope the police officers win.

  10. anon says:

    by working 12 hour shifts you actually get more rest days ( 4 days compared to 2 days if you work 7.5 hour shifts) ) so I am not sure what they are complaining about. I loved 12 hour shifts and the time off.

  11. anonymous says:

    Leave for wa ? They don’t do anything except give out tickets

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes give them more time off when they do absolutely nothing during their shift.

  13. Anon says:

    Under the old policy they were often “on leave” when they were due in court to give evidence, thereby holding up proceedings, the new policy should reduce this waste of court time.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just fire them all. Re-hire those that are deserving on Private Sector type contracts that do not have this madness of hundreds feeding at the trough of government finances in an irrational and unsustainable manner. Deputize the Regiment to fill any Law Enforcement gaps while qualified replacements are trained locally by expert police brought in from the UK. Enough of this third wold descent into chaos. This needs to be stopped now. The Civil Service is out of control and will bankrupt us.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      “…expert police brought in from the UK” You believe that policing is the same in both locales? NO! There are much different cultural mores and systemic influences between the two. You want to bring in ‘experts’, bring them from Barbados or Honduras or Jamaica.

      Or… and here’s a thought… why not put Kurt Walton in charge and have him reform his own officers? He is, I believe, the most qualified and overlooked person in the RCIPS. I have no problem with Commissioner Byrnes (in fact, I think he’s done a good job), but why not put our best in the top slot? Is it a matter of faith? Well, I believe. I want Mr. Kurt in charge. He knows the people and knows the policies and everything else.

  15. Anonymous says:

    If they used to get, say, 20 days leave at 7.5 hours per day, surely that can’t equate to 20 days leave of 12 hours, they would effectively be getting considerably more

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