- The country’s over 100,000 government workers are to benefit from cash rewards at select private sector establishments through the ‘Team Jamaica Valucard’ programme.
- The wage restraint has now been lifted, with workers receiving a seven per cent salary increase for the 2015/17 contract period.
- Over 1,500 merchants islandwide are expected to be recruited and equipped to participate in the programme.
The country’s over 100,000 government workers are to benefit from cash rewards at select private sector establishments through the ‘Team Jamaica Valucard’ programme.
The initiative, launched at the Super Shoppers Fair complex on Washington Boulevard on October 30, will see civil servants being rewarded with cash back benefits whenever they use the card to access goods and services at any of the participating merchants.
The programme, facilitated by the Government, arose out of collaboration between the private sector and the unions representing civil servants, to show appreciation and support to the workers, who agreed to a three-year wage freeze, as part of Jamaica’s economic reform programme.
The wage restraint has now been lifted, with workers receiving a seven per cent salary increase for the 2015/17 contract period.
The valucard’s implementation has been welcomed by Minister with responsibility for the Public Service, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley.
Mr. Dalley, in lauding the private sector’s response, thanked the merchants “who have come on board with this Team Jamaica value card to ensure that we give something back to our workers,” while encouraging those who can offer more benefits, to do so.
The Minister, again, thanked public sector workers for their sacrifice during the period of wage restraint, and encouraged them to access and fully utilise the benefits being provided through the card.
Chairman of ePayment Group (EPAY), which is the technology company behind the initiative, also commended the stakeholders “for working together to make this happen.”
In her remarks, Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) Vice President, Helene Davis-Whyte, described the valucard as a “demonstration of something that we, in the JCTU, really support and believe.”
“That is, we can accomplish almost anything for our country,…if we practice what is called social dialogue…making sure that our three main partners –government, trade unions on behalf of workers, and the private sector – are able to come together and deal with issues that affect the Jamaican economy, and people,” she stated.
The valucards are being issued to workers through the human resource department of their respective Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
A total of 45,000 have already been delivered, with another 70,000 to be distributed over the forthcoming weeks. The cards are used primarily for the purchase of groceries and other consumer items, as well as to pay health care and utility bills
Private sector entities already a part of the Team Jamaica Valucard initiative include: Progressive Grocers stores and the Shopper’s Fair chain; Tastee Patties; WISYNCO; Lasco; Fontana Pharmacy; Mailpac; Bert’s Auto; and Digicel.
Over 1,500 merchants islandwide are expected to be recruited and equipped to participate in the programme.
ePayment Group Limited is a diversified technology-driven organisation established three years ago, to provide processing and transaction capabilities for magnetic strip-enabled cards, mobile wallet, gift, and loyalty solutions.