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    • I am very pleased that the Government of Jamaica, represented by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions have reached agreement in respect of salary and other benefits.
    • My Administration takes seriously our responsibility for the prudent management of the affairs of our country.
    • I am grateful especially to ALL our public sector workers for their patience, their sacrifices and their loyalty to Jamaica.

    Remarks by the Prime Minister

    Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller ON, MP

    At

    Signing of Heads of Agreement Between the Government of Jamaica and the

     Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions on Behalf of Some Public Sector Workers For the Period April 2015 to March 2017
    Office of the Prime Minister, August 11, 2015

     

     

     

     

    Salutations

     

    • Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips

    Minister of Finance and Planning

    • Hon. Horace Dalley

    Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning (With Responsibility for the Public Sector)

    • Ambassador Douglas Saunders

    Cabinet Secretary

     

    • Mr. Everton McFarlane

    Acting Financial Secretary

     

    • Mr. Wayne Jones

    Deputy Financial Secretary

    • Other representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Planning

     

    • Senator Lambert Brown

    Representing the University and Allied Workers Union

     

     

    • Mrs. Helene Davis-Whyte and her team

    Representing the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers

     

    • Mr. O’neil Grant

    President

    Jamaica Civil Service Association

     

    • Mr. Wesley Nelson

    Vice-President, Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

    • Mr. Barrington Dawes

    Representing the Trade Union Congress

     

    • Mr. Granville Valentine

    Representing the National Workers Union

     

    • Mr. Clifton Brown

    Representing the Jamaica Workers Union

     

    • Mr. Fitzroy Bryan

    Representing the Union of Public and Private Employees

     

     

    I am very pleased that the Government of Jamaica, represented by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions have reached agreement in respect of salary and other benefits for the period April 2015 to March 2017 for Public Sector Workers represented by the Confederation.

     

    My Administration takes seriously our responsibility for the prudent management of the affairs of our country, while ensuring that the best interest of our employees are always protected and secured.

     

    I know very well the tremendous sacrifices being made by the people of Jamaica as we strengthen the economy and work to secure economic growth with equity, social inclusion and job creation.

     

    I am grateful especially to ALL our public sector workers for their patience, their sacrifices and their loyalty to Jamaica.

     

    I am so pleased to be here this afternoon to witness the signing of this agreement.

     

    The country will recall that in January 2015 the Ministry of Finance and Planning received a joint claim from the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions on behalf of certain Public Sector Workers.

     

    It was determined by the Confederation and supported by the Government that Public Sector Workers could not be asked to continue under the wage freeze.

    This is despite the fact that our country has not yet achieved the target of a wage to GDP ratio of nine per cent (9%), which we have set under Jamaica’s Economic Reform Programme.

     

    Meetings of the Public Sector Monitoring Committee were suspended and on March 26, 2015 the Negotiations commenced.

    The Government’s Negotiating Team was ably led by the Hon. Horace Dalley.

     

    Some critical components of the Agreements and Economic and Social Benefits are as follows:

     

    • The agreement is for two (2) years commencing April 2015  to March 2017.
    • Twelve items from the previous contract period are still being pursued.

     

    • An increase in Salary is projected for Four Percent (4%) in year 1 and Three Percent  (3%) in year 2.

     

    • There will be Increases in the following allowances:
    • Tailoring
    • Meal
    • Supper
    • Taxi
    • Refreshment
    • Shift and Night Premium
    • Special Duty
    • Subsistence
    • Death Benefit; and
    • Funeral Grant
    • There is also agreement for a compensation review which will establish relations between and among groups in the public and private sectors.

     

    • There will be a fund totalling Forty Five Million Dollars ($45M) for Tertiary Education grants to children of Public Sector Workers over the two years of the contract.

     

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    • There is also agreement for the maintenance of benefits across the Public Sector.

     

    These benefits are:

    • Tertiary Education Loans
    • Refund of Tuition
    • Grants to Children of Public Sector Workers
    • Government Transportation and
    • Skills Training
    • There is also agreement for the development of at least one land our housing project for this financial year.

     

    This signing ceremony is a culmination of a process of dialogue, mutual respect, consultation and understanding.

     

    I commend the Trade Unions and Associations for their patience and their understanding of the Government’s Economic Programme at this time.

     

    I thank the Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and his Technical Staff for their dedication, commitment and perseverance.

     

    Most of all, once again, I thank our Public Sector workers, who continue to make great sacrifices in support of the  economic programme for strengthening the Jamaican economy and society.

     

    Thank you for working in the interest of the long-term advancement and development of Jamaica, land we love.

     

    God bless you.