JIS News

The parishes of St. Thomas and St. Catherine are expected to be an integral part of the decision making process as the Ministry of Labour and Social Security begins a series of public consultations to arrive at a consensus on adjustments to the country’s minimum wage next year.
The first in a series of four public consultations was held in Montego Bay today. This inaugural public meeting, which was held at the Civic Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, grouped the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, and St. James.
The series of public fora is intended to facilitate participation from a wide cross section of Jamaicans to voice their suggestions and opinions before the commission appointed to hear and record their feedback.
Public Relations Officer at the Ministry, Gerrard McDaniel told JIS News that St. Catherine was critical to the process as “that parish was a major feeder of labour to the tourist Mecca of Ocho Rios and the business and financial capital of Kingston”.
He pointed out that St. Thomas was equally important noting that “the parish is also a primary feeder of labour to Kingston and to a lesser extent Port Antonio and St. Mary”.
The consultation with which St. Catherine and St. Thomas is grouped is the Kingston and St. Andrew fora, which will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Thursday, October 6.
Last month, Labour Minister Horace Dalley announced his intention to push for greater engagement and wider public participation in the preliminary stage of determining any adjustment to the national minimum wage as well as the minimum wage for security guards for 2006.
The minimum wage was last adjusted in January to $2,400 for a 40-hour workweek. This adjustment is a 20 per cent increase over the previous figure to $2,000 per week.
In an official release Mr. Dalley said the Ministry was “keeping a commitment made two years ago, to make an early announcement of the recommended adjustments of the new minimum wage to facilitate their implementation by the first working week of January”.
The Minimum Wage Advisory Committee is a tri-partite body and is chaired by Attorney-At-Law Norma Linton.