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JAMAICA | PNP urges Govt to settle dispute with public sector workers

Featured PNP President and Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips PNP President and Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips
The People’s National Party (PNP) has again called on the Andrew Holness-led administration to demonstrate “sincerity and respect required in the negotiations with the public sector workers”. 

According to the PNP the government must change its stance in the negotiations and present a better offer to the workers.  

“This approach is the only basis for achieving a wage settlement which has been outstanding for more than a year,” said the PNP in a release.

“This is clearly a national priority and we continue to share the concern of many stakeholder groupings and civil society that the country cannot afford the continued feeling of insecurity and fear which comes with the failure to have our security forces operating at full strength.

“It is an ominous sign that we have begun the New Year in the same manner as we ended the last with a spiralling murder rate,” added the PNP.

 The party said it is urging the government again to place the security of the nation as a top priority by creating the condition for a speedy settlement with the rank and file.  

“Furthermore, the Opposition has consistently indicated its willingness to sit with the Government to develop a more effective response to escalating violent crime and antisocial behaviour.

“The last PNP Administration faced with a worse economic situation, found creative ways to meet the individual sector demands, by utilising a combination of benefits and wages. This was achieved because the negotiation was conducted in a consultative and respectful manner. 

“The workers over the years have sacrificed for the benefit of the nation by enduring several years of wage restraints and limitations.  They deserve a decent and liveable wage offer,” argued the PNP as it said it expects that when the Cabinet next meets on Monday, a new offer for public sector workers will be agreed on to avoid an escalation of industrial action. 

Only recently, PNP spokesman on the Public Service Senator Lambert Brown, speaking as President of the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) called on the Holness administration to re-negotiate its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to have the freedom to submit a better wage offer to public sector workers.

Mr. Brown told Radio Jamaica in an interview, that the current offer from the government to public sector workers was inadequate, given the rising cost of living:

"It's about compassion; it's about going to the IMF and saying to them that we cannot continue to starve our people with wage freeze and wage restraints, and that the workers have suffered, they've sacrificed for so long, and that they need an increase now," Brown declared.

Public Sector workers including teachers, police and nurses, have rejected the government's six per cent wage offer over two years.

He said the government needs to seriously engage trade unions to find creative solutions to the problems.

Last modified onFriday, 05 January 2018 09:51
  • Countries: Jamaica

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