- The Opposition will not sign the agreemen
- Partners will “reaffirm and recommit” to the principles of social dialogue and democracy
- The partners will agree to certain measurable targets
The long-awaited Social Partnership Agreement between the Government and various stakeholders – trade unions, private sector and civil society – will be signed next Wednesday, July 31, at King’s House.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon Portia Simpson Miller, will sign on behalf of the Government.
While the Opposition will not sign the agreement, Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness says “the Opposition supports the concept of a social partnership and we have and will continue to participate on the National Partnership Council.”
The National Partnership Council, chaired by the Prime Minister, is comprised of representatives of the Government, Opposition, private sector, trade unions, civil society, academia and special interests. It is a forum for discussing national issues and for fostering collaboration and consensus.
For a number of years there have been efforts to sign off on a Social Partnership Agreement. In 2011 a Code of Conduct was signed, and last year the Prime Minister reconvened the National Partnership Council, with a renewed effort to get the agreement signed.
A document outlining the thrust of the agreement says the partners to the Social Partnership “reaffirm and recommit” to the principles of “social dialogue and partnership, specifically to further the process of deepening democracy and participatory decision-making and to engender meaningful participation of all partners in national development.” The partners will agree to certain measurable targets, and mechanisms will be set up to monitor these targets.
According to a Council document, “nothing short of a nationwide transformation of people and institutions around performance accountability, gender equality and collective responsibility, respect for human rights and civil liberties of all Jamaicans, as well as tolerance and maturity in conflict resolution will account for the realization of a more equal, safe, secure and prosperous Jamaica for all.”
Co-ordinator for the National Partnership Council, Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, hails the upcoming signing as a “step in the right direction and an important move for a nation that is seized with the urgency of growth and balanced development.”
He says he is pleased that the stakeholders will be “publicly demonstrating their commitment to the future of Jamaica, land we love.”