JIS News

The Government announced Tuesday (August 25) that increases in allowances paid to its employees, due from April, 2008, will be paid in September.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Senator the Hon. Arthur Williams, who is conducting discussions with various public sector groups on salary issues, told JIS News that the advice referred to benefits such as taxi, meal and supper allowances which should have been increased in 2008.
He said that this was the advice he had given to representatives of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) at a meeting at the Ministry, earlier.
However, Senator Williams explained that while the new rates would be implemented, the retroactive arrears, for the period April 1, 2008 to August 30, 2009, could not be paid in this financial year. He said that the Government will use its best endeavours to settle those arrears in the first quarter of the new financial year, 2010-2011.
Senator Williams will meet with representatives of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) at the Ministry, Wednesday morning, to discuss their salary issue.
A meeting with representatives of the Police Federation on Tuesday, to discuss ways to “soften” the impact of the public sector wage freeze, failed to progress.
The Ministry said this was due to the Federation’s insistence that the Government settle the issue of the pay increase due this year, before they make any proposal.
“Senator Williams strongly maintained the Government’s position of a wage freeze and reiterated to the Federation that the country cannot afford any increase in payments to public sector workers,” the Ministry’s release on the meeting said.

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