JIS News

Productivity linked wage systems are expected to boost productivity, and the incomes of workers, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier has said.
He was speaking recently at the opening of National Productivity Awareness Week, which is being observed from September 3 to 8, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
Mr. Kellier said that productivity linked wage systems would also improve the profitability and competitiveness of firms, improve labour management co-operation and industrial relations.
Of note, he said, the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) has been assisting a select number of companies to establish productivity linked wage systems and this partnership is a “win/win” situation for both investors and workers.
Outlining the role of the JPC in fostering increased productivity, the Minister informed that the Centre would be focusing on six priority areas, including research and development; using research findings to inform legislation, regulation and policy; delivering technical assistance to private and public sector entities; acting as agents of change for building national productivity awareness; building competitiveness in the Jamaican economy; and networking and mobilising resources.
This type of productivity enhancement strategy, Minister Kellier argued, would build on industry clusters, which have been identified as strategic growth centres in the Ministry’s national industrial policy.
A recent study by JAMPRO, he said, supported this perspective, as it confirmed that the clusters covering services such as technology, agriculture and manufacturing remained the appropriate growth centres.”It should be no surprise that some of those sectors, which have consistently shown annual growth, are the same ones which recorded the highest productivity growth in a survey covering the period 1990 to 2001,” he noted.
In order for Jamaica to succeed in its quest to increase productivity growth, Minister Kellier said that there was a need to rekindle and advance the spirit of co-operation between all social partners – the government, employers, trade unions and workers.
For its part, the Ministry was reviewing “a whole slate of labour laws”, to ensure both investment friendliness and protection of workers, he said. The best example of this process was the reform of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act.
“Our sights are now set on fast tracking other necessary legislative changes. We are also heartened by the fact that there is growing acceptance among employers and trade unions that productivity bargaining must be an integral part of collective bargaining,” he added.
Minister Kellier also took the opportunity to urge employers to redouble their efforts to improve productivity, while embracing a culture of entrepreneurship and business development to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of their respective organisations.
“At the national level, we will continue to pursue the tripartite approach to productivity enhancement and we are confident that in due course that will translate into greater efforts of economic growth and progress and social well being of our people,” he said.
Over the past decades, available information suggests that national productivity levels have either been flat or falling.
In light of this, the JPC, through National Productivity Awareness Week, has sought to alert the country to this worrying fact and in the process mobilise persons to remedy the situation.

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