The Jamaica Civil Service Association, JCSA, is very close to a wage agreement with the government.
Nationwide News understands the union is now finalizing the Heads of Agreement with the Ministry of Finance.
This, following what the union considers important concessions by the government.
Nationwide News has seen a draft letter sent by the leadership of the JCSA to its members, informing them that an agreement with the government has all but been reached.
The JCSA represents the permanent professional branches of the state administration, excluding groups such as the military, teachers, judiciary and elected politicians.
In the letter to its members, the JCSA notes that some of its partners under the umbrella of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, JCTU, were ready to sign off on a wage deal with the government three weeks ago.
The letter says they were satisfied with the government’s agreement to provide an across-the-board salary increase of 48-thousand dollars per year.
But the JCSA held out for other benefits, and is reportedly now at the point where they are ready to end negotiations and agree to the terms.
Among the new gains is an increase in transport allowances over two years.
Additionally, while the 48-thousand dollar flat increase remains in place, there’s a further increase for those who don’t receive a transport or tailoring allowance.
Those workers will receive a salary increase of 68-thousand dollars per year, or about 5-thousand-6-hundred dollars per month.
There’s also debt relief for highly-indebted workers.
The Miscellaneous Loan Fund is to be expanded within three months, to allow workers with expensive loans from micro-lending agencies, to consolidate at 3-percent interest.
Furthermore, workers who are on contract, despite working in establishment posts, are to be regularized as employees of the state.
Employees at state agencies and public bodies will also benefit from the agreement, by being able to enjoy facilities that are currently only available to those in the central civil service.
The JCSA says all the terms and conditions are to be made retroactive to April 1.