JCTU Urges Cabinet to Discuss All Public Sector Wages

The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) is urging the government to use Monday’s Cabinet meeting to discuss wage negotiations for all public sector workers.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the Jamaica Police Federation that he’ll discuss the demands it’s made on behalf of rank and file police personnel at Monday’s meeting.

This after over 2,000 rank and file members of the Constabulary staged a persistent ‘sick-out’ last month.

President of the JCTU, Helene Davis Whyte, is hopeful that situation involving the workers represented by her union will also benefit from the upcoming Cabinet deliberations.

The Office of the Prime Minister this week stated that far-reaching issues raised by the unions concerning wage negotiations would be discussed on January 8.

In the meantime, Vice President of the JCTU, O’Neil Grant, is calling on the government to improve its offer of a six percent wage increase spread over the two year period under negotiation.

The government and economists have maintained that a better offer would compromise the nation’s economic targets. But Mr. Grant insists that’s not so.

He says the government’s nine percent wage to Gross Domestic Product target was set based on very conservative economic projections.

Mr. Grant says a higher economic projection– based on the current uptick in the economy– would be more suited.

The government last year, raised the income tax threshold to $1.5-million. But the Senior Trade Unionist says many public sector workers are not benefiting from the initiative.