New president of Prison Association

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prisons officers during a march in Point Fortin. FILE PHOTO

NEWLY-elected president of the Prison Officers’ Association Gerard Gordon said his vision for the prison service is to make it the premium essential services in the country.

“My vision is to build upon what was done previously and make the Prison Officers’ Association – the premier essential services staff representative organisation in the western hemisphere. Our focus would be first on rebuilding trust in the organisation and increasing service delivery in an era where it appears the state would love to destroy the very organisations who stand in defense of its members.”

Gordon, who will serve a three-year-term, was elected president on February 10 but was only confirmed in the positon on February 17 after the completion of recounts. Former president Ceron Richards, who served as president for three consecutive terms, opted not to contest this year’s election.

Gordon, who led team GG (Good Governance) was selected over three other contenders – Sean Ramnarine, Burton Hill and Mikey Jokan. Gordon got 530 votes while Ramnarine received 437. Hill and Jokan received 118 and 17 votes respectively.

The executive consists of the first vice-president Keron Hepburn, second-vice president Richard Lalchan, general secretary Lester Logie, finance officer Lincoln Joseph, assistant finance officer Glen De Verteuil, industrial relations officer Wendell Mitchell, welfare representative Richard Emmanuel and drivers’ representative Raymond Knott.

The association is currently before an industrial court tribunal seeking a higher wage offer than four per cent offered by the Chief Personnel Officer, an offer which has been accepted by both the police and the Defence Force. Prison and the Fire Officers’ Association are the remaining members of the protective service seeking increased wages for 2017-2019.