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JAMAICA | Public sector to hear Friday if gov't has improved its wage offer

Featured Jamaica Teachers Association President Georgia Waugh Richards Jamaica Teachers Association President Georgia Waugh Richards
Unions negotiating on behalf of public sector workers will have to wait until at least the end of this week to hear what new offer, if any, the government will make on wage and fringe benefits for the current contract period.
The matter was discussed at Monday's meeting of the Cabinet after several unions gave the government an ultimatum to come up with a better wage offer.
Cabinet is expected to give further consideration to the issue when it goes into retreat starting on Wednesday.
The police, nurses and teachers have rejected the six per cent offer being made for the two year period and there was threat of  industrial action in the public sector.
Information Minister Senator Ruel Reid told RJR News that following Monday's Cabinet deliberations, Prime Minister Andrew Holness got in touch with union leaders.

"We have indicated to them that we will continue our deliberations in our retreat starting tomorrow until Friday. It's a very complex matter. We have the issue of the wage to GDP ratio of nine per cent that has to be protected, but we respect and regard the work of our hardworking public sector workers and so, we are occupying our time to see how creatively we can find a way so we can provide an offer to the public sector workers who are well deserving that will be acceptable to them without jeopardising our fiscal position at this particular time," Reid said.

In the meantime, The Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA), says it has received a favourable response from the government to one aspect of its wage claim.

JTA President Georgia Waugh Richards said that Prime Minister Andrew Holness had contacted the executive before the deadline had expired, “and then we were called to a meeting with government officials last night, and close to midnight we were still in that meeting.”

It was during that meeting, she said, that the JTA was informed that Cabinet had given favourable consideration to fringe benefit proposals that had been submitted by the teachers.

She said the Prime Minister had asked the JTA to await the outcome of the Cabinet retreat on Wednesday, during which it will review the six per cent wage offer it had it had initially made to the teachers and all other public sector groups.  

 “We appreciate the fact that the Prime Minister recognized the importance of intervening at this time, when the teaching force was extremely restive; it says to us that he understands our importance to the whole business of nation building…” she said.

Last modified onTuesday, 09 January 2018 23:02
  • Countries: Jamaica