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Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Hon. Horace Dalley, says efforts are continuing to lobby support for the public sector wage restraint agreement by unions not yet on board.

The three-year agreement, which was signed earlier this month, will see the island’s civil servants forgoing major wage increases for the period 2013 to 2015.

This forms part of the stipulations outlined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Government of Jamaica to fulfill, in their efforts to conclude a four-year IMF Extended Funding Facility (EFF), to support the country’s economic programme.

To date, unions representing over 80 per cent of the public sector workforce have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formalizing this arrangement.

Responding to questions about a possible timeframe in which the remaining unions are anticipated to sign the agreement, Mr. Dalley said the Ministry will continue discussions with them in the hope that “the national interest will prevail and that they will understand the need to come on board.”

Regarding unions deemed to be “sticking to their ground” and not wanting to endorse the agreement, Mr. Dalley said based on the prevailing developments, “there is no group that can receive any increase in wages during this period.”

“The eighty-odd per cent of the public sector workers who have agreed to sign on…to the call from the government, to help in this difficult period, we (greatly) appreciate, and that sacrifice is monumental. (However) no other group can, or will be treated differently,” he stated.

By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter