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JAMAICA | Unions may have to report gov't to the ILO

Featured President of the Jamaica Confederation of  Trade Unions (JCTU)  Helene Davis-White, is threatening to report the government for breaching its legal obligations under the relevant conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) Helene Davis-White, is threatening to report the government for breaching its legal obligations under the relevant conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
KINGSTON, March 13, 2018 - President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, JCTU, Helene Davis-White, says she may have to report the government to the International Labour Organization, ILO, for breaching its legal obligations under  the international convention.

This comes as the government says it is planning to make certain payments to teachers and the police among other groups, although wage negotiations have not been completed.

The payments will be based on the recently signed Heads of  Agreement with other public sector trade unions.

Speaking yesterday on the RJR discussion programme 'Beyond The Headlines' Mrs Davis-White says any payment by government prior to a clear agreement can be considered union busting. It is in breach of industrial relations practice and has written to Prime Minister Andrew Holness in this regard, she says.

Mrs Davis-White  warned that if  things do not change, a report will be made and the government will  face the possibility of coming under international legal scrutiny from the Labour Relations community,

If Jamaica is found to be in breach, it could be sanctioned by the United Nations and lose some privileges.

Meanwhile, Police Federation Chairman Sergeant Cecil McCalla, said if the Finance Ministry goes ahead and pays the members without any wage agreement being signed, it would be a serious breach of trust and good faith. 

The  Police Federation also expressed concern and disappointment with public utterances by Minister of Finance Audley Shaw, regarding what it says is an erroneous calculation of 34 per cent over four years for salaries and the planned payment of retroactive salaries to public sector workers this month. 

In the meantime, a significant number of public schools in Jamaica were affected by industrial action on Monday as teachers stayed home in protest against the government’s wage offer.

The teachers have received support from Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips, who expressed solidarity with the island's teachers as they press the government for better wages.

 Dr. Phillips says the teachers should be properly paid. He argued that the government's breach of collective bargaining principles is "unprecedented". 

 "These collective bargaining principles have been in place for decades, respected by every previous government of Jamaica; and in fact, by discarding the procedures, the government is in effect saying to the teachers, 'take it or leave it'. It is wrong and they shouldn't behave in that fashion," Dr. Phillips chided.

  • Countries: Jamaica

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