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The Jamaica Federation of Corrections (JFEDCO) and the Government today (November 14), signed a new two-year wage agreement at the offices of the Ministry of Finance and Planning in Kingston.
Under this new wage agreement, workers in the Correctional Services will receive a 20 per cent increase in year one and a five per cent increase in year two. Other benefits include increases in the technical allowances and in meal allowances.
State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Fitz Jackson said that under the new agreement with JFEDCO, Correctional workers would benefit from a scholarship programme.
“We have provided scholarship benefits for Correctional Officers and also to their children to access education at the tertiary level. We have also increased the death benefits from four to six million dollars per annum, and that is a 50 per cent increase,” the State Minister said.
Mr. Jackson also noted that provisions have been made for issuing clothing items, such as dress wear and clothing wear, in instances “where a member might need a windbreaker to improve on their comfort where they have to discharge their duties”.
“The package represents an attempt to improve on the different areas and although they might not be very significant individually, when taken as a package, we feel it will impact on the life of the Correctional Officer in a meaningful way,” the State Minister said.
Chairman of the JFEDCO, Kenneth Elliot, said he was pleased that his organization was able to sign this new wage agreement.
“On one hand, we are very glad that we have concluded the negations, but on the other hand we had hoped that we would have had something much more than what is being offered to us. We are, however, happy that we were able to come here and signed this agreement,” he said.
Major Richard Reese, Commissioner of Corrections, said the department remained committed to building a strong and harmonious industrial relations climate.
“Our capacity building strategies rely on redefining our job functions in sync with the service level requirements and providing opportunities for staff development and sustainability. The welfare and remuneration of our staff remain our top priority in achieving our corporate objectives,” Major Reese said.