JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government has completed a wide ranging compensation policy for the public service.
  • The Government will be seeking every opportunity within the context of wage restraint, to do what it can to enhance their welfare.
  • Prime Minister Simpson Miller pointed out that like any other sector, the civil service has to be motivated.

The Government has completed a wide ranging compensation policy for the public service.

Prime Minster, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, made the disclosure during her keynote address at the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) 95th annual general meeting, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston, on May 29.

“We decided that we needed to develop an instrument that determines how we pay public sector workers for the work they do. Rest assured then, that you will be hearing more about this new reclassification and the new regime when it is put in place,” Mrs. Simpson Miller promised.

She assured public sector workers that the Government will be seeking every opportunity within the context of wage restraint, to do what it can to enhance their welfare.

“Already, I gave instructions to the NHT (that) when they are building in areas suitable for public servants, there should be an allocation. I think it is important that whatever we can do, given your sacrifice for this country, we should do it,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She pointed out that like any other sector, the civil service has to be motivated. “While it is important to design compensation packages in the private sector to retain good talent there, when it comes to the civil service, we have to pay keen attention to some kind of compensation,” the Prime Minister said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that in addition to special considerations by the NHT, representation will be made to the Ministry with responsibility for land. “I am sure that if we could get some lands dedicated to public servants…they will be able to be earn something else to supplement what they gave up in the interest of their fellow men and women in this country,” she said.

She thanked the sector for its sacrifice in agreeing to a wage restraint until 2017, and for their service, dedication and hard work.

The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of the sector delivering good customer service.

“Every Jamaican citizen has a right to efficient and customer friendly service from the public sector. Even in the midst of difficulties, we cannot afford to drop our hands. There is no room for inactivity and ineptness,” Mrs. Simpson Miller warned.

In the meantime, JCSA President, O’Neil Grant, said the association has lost its appetite for wage freeze or wage restraint.

He noted however, that the JCSA is heartened by the current level of confidence in the economy and that the climate is now being created for sustainable growth, as the salary of public sector workers is now tied to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Mr. Grant informed that any increase in salary that the JCSA will negotiate for, cannot go beyond 9 per cent of GDP by the end of the fiscal year 2016. “But, there is room and we will wiggle in that room,” he noted.