Back Pay Promise Pending: Ex-Police Officer Ralulu
Concerns about former Police officers back pay were raised before the Foreign Affairs and Defence Standing Committee in Parliament yesterday.
This was highlighted by an executive from the Former Fiji Police Officers Association’s Tevita Ralulu who said that a 24 per cent pay out that was expected to be made to Police officers in 2004 still pended.
In his submissions, Mr Ralulu said there was an original 30 per cent payout expected in 2004, however, only six per cent was paid out to the officers in 2015.
He said the Government then allocated funds in the 2014 National Budget for their funds to be paid out, but the Fiji Police Force failed to do so.
Speaking to Fiji Sun, Mr Ralulu said yesterday’s submission was fruitful and he was relieved that he had the opportunity to speak to the chairperson, Member of Parliament Netani Rika, and other members.
Mr Ralulu said he has repeatedly highlighted this back pay issue in the media which included what he called the unfair distribution of back pays.
Representing around 2000 former Police officers, wives and children, Mr Ralulu said that according to the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the officers were supposed to be paid.
Mr Ralulu said the committee was happy with his submission and eager to follow up on the issue and have it resolved.
“I am happy that the Government will look into this. People are waiting for answers, families are waiting and Government should consider taking to task those who were given instructions to process the payment,” he said.
Mr Ralulu said he has been instrumental in highlighting the said issue by writing to the PM before the last general elections.
“In 2004, while I was at the Police headquarters, a 30 per cent back pay was allocated by previous government to the military, prison and Police departments.
“Two other departments enjoyed the privilege of receiving the full amount of payment while the Police management opted to pay six per cent only to its members.
“There was no payment after that. In 2014 before the elections, I wrote to the PM requesting for the remaining 24 per cent to be included in next budget, to replenish the remaining of back pay allocations.”
Committee chairperson, Netani Rika welcomed Mr Ralulu and thanked him for responding to the invitation.
Mr Rika assured the association that the standing committee looked forward to the relevant information and would look into their concerns.
He added that the committee would consider hearing from retired Police offices, and also to those who have lost their loved ones (deceased officers).
Edited by Caroline Ratucadra