JPC Gets New Board


The Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) has a new Board of Directors, chaired by businessman, Joseph Matalon.The centre is mandated to serve as a catalyst for promoting and enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the Jamaican economy at the national, sector, industry, enterprise and individual levels.
Also on the Board are: Executive Director of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, Sandra Glasgow; General Manager of Jamaica National Building Society, Earl Jarrett; President of the University & Allied Workers Union, Lambert Brown; President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, Kavan Gayle and General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers, Helene Davis-Whyte.
Other members include: Executive Director of Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd; Consultant in the Ministry of Labour & Social Security, Gresford Smith; Director of the Compensation Unit, Ministry of Finance & Planning, Maria Thompson-Walters and Director of Economic, Planning & Research Division, Planning Institute of Jamaica and Executive Director of the Mona School of Business, Professor Neville Ying.
State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore, said the members of the Board were selected based on their expertise, experience and commitment to the mission of the centre.
Mr. Gallimore was the guest speaker at the Board’s first meeting on January 18 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
The State Minister challenged the Board to work assiduously and smartly to remove the obstacles to sustainable productivity growth. This, he said, would have a ripple effect on the living standards of the Jamaican people. “Improved living standards will only be realized through the contribution of productivity to growth in real wages, creation of quality jobs and more profitable and competitive firms,” he emphasized.
“Sustained productivity growth is the single most important strategy for growing the economy, creating jobs and restoring the country’s competitiveness,” he added.
Executive Director of the JPC, Dr. Charles Douglas explained that inadequate investments in human capital, physical capital, science and technology, crime, absence of a productivity culture and bad labour-management relationships are just some of the reasons for Jamaica’s low productivity rate.
“As a society, Jamaicans have not grasped or embraced the importance of productivity for competitiveness and socio-economic development. This is evidenced by demands for wage increases that bear no relationship to labour productivity,” he said.
Dr. Douglas added that simple behavioural adjustments that could substantially improve productivity are ignored at the level of the individual worker and employer as well as governments. “Distrust between workers and management in Jamaican companies has also been identified as a factor influencing worker motivation and productivity. Providing supportive work environments as well as challenging work are critical elements in improving labour motivation and productivity,” he said.
The JPC is a tripartite organization comprising the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions and the Jamaica Employers’ Federation.

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