The high command of the Haitian National Police, PNH, continues to ask policemen not to observe the strike they have announced for August 16. PNH spokesman Bruce Myrthil acknowledges that all policemen have the right to express themselves but it must be done in compliance with the Haitian constitution. He adds that the internal rules of the police and the established procedures to express grievances must be respected. He reminds his colleagues that they are duty bound to protect and serve the people. He goes on to say that all demands must go through the intermediary groups. He also gives details about an agreement that was reached between the management of the PNH and Prime Minister Gerard Latortue about a salary increase for policemen. It was agreed that a salary increase of 100 per cent would be given to the police agents, 80 per cent to the intermediary managerial staff members and 60 per cent to senior police officers.
In spite of the opposition of the police director, police officers are sticking to their decision to strike on August 16. They are demanding better work conditions, a salary increase and more social benefits. A spokesman says that if their demands are not respected, they will carry out their threat to strike. The spokesman explains that he has been a member of the police force for nine years and that he left college in order to work as a police officer, but he is still a second-grade policeman whereas policemen who joined the force several years later have much higher grades.
Radio Metropole further reported:
The police plan to go on strike on August 16 despite the warnings of the Haitian National Police (PNH) leadership. The government, which promised officers a substantial salary raise, affirms that it is no longer able to keep its promise because of the budget. The PNH leadership reminds officers throughout the country that they do not have the right to go on strike. Roosevelt Cocy reports that the police want the government to give them the 100-percent salary raise it had promised as well as an additional 33-percent raise promised by the Ministry of Finance. This would mean an officer’s monthly salary would go from 4,366 gourdes to 10,172 gourdes. They affirm that no negotiation is possible if it does not take these demands into account. The police are also asking for better work conditions, better equipment and a readjustment of their work schedule. They complain about the fact that they have to work more than ten hours a day in very difficult conditions, and they warn that the authorities will have to meet their demands if they want to avoid a serious crisis within the institution. They explain that their movement has nothing to do with politics, but they complain that the internal rules are not respected and there is no social progress. They deplore the fact that the authorities say they have enough funds to hire former soldiers but do not have the resources to meet their needs. Meanwhile, the PNH leadership is calling for calm.
Residents of Port-au-Prince do not support a police strike. People are saying that although their demands are just, they should not go on strike because it could hurt the people. They remind the police that their duty is to protect and to serve.