JIS News

The Ministry of Finance, Planning and the Public Service is to issue a circular outlining the tenets of the agreement signed with public servants to restrain wage increases over the next three years.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, with responsibility for Public Service, Hon. Horace Dalley, says the circular will be issued to managers in the various departments and agencies, so as to ensure clarity.

“So, it’s not left for any individual to interpret, it is clear. Sometimes the lack of clarity creates confusion,” the Minister said.

Mr. Dalley was addressing a public sector leadership development conference, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel on March 7.

The Government on Wednesday, March 6, crossed one of the final hurdles on the way to securing a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the signing of an agreement with public servants.

The Heads of Agreement for the 2012-2015 contract periods between the Government and Public Sector Unions/Associations representing the majority of public sector workers was signed at Jamaica House.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dalley emphasised that the public sector has a role to play in fostering growth in the economy.

“We must ensure that we have growth. Who is going to cause this growth to take place? Not the Ministers, not us, we are policymakers. The growth has to be driven by our public servants in the various agencies,” he said.

“The Government owes you a debt of gratitude, but at the same time we ask you to refocus, as the objective is for Jamaica to grow, so that when we come back to negotiate in 2015, we will be able to say members we cannot give 15 per cent, but let us settle off at 12 per cent or 10,” the Minister added.

For the unions which have not signed the agreement, Mr. Dalley said they will have an opportunity to sign during the course of the week.

“It’s always open as we will be working for the entire week, because we must submit this to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We need a certain percentage of workers to agree and having agreed in principle, we ask them to speed up the process of consultation,” he said.

Under the wage agreement, the unions have agreed to change their negotiating cycle from two to three years, along with a wage restraint from 2012 to 2015. Approximately 20 public sector unions and associations were represented at the signing ceremony.