JCTU Vows to Fight Govt Pension Reform Proposals

Pressure is building on the government as the start of the new financial year on April 1 draws closer, when proposed pension reforms could take effect.

The largest trade union bloc in the country, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, JCTU, is vowing to fight the implementation of the Pension Reform Bill in its current form.

President of the JCTU, Helene Davis-Whyte, says her members are dissatisfied with the proposals.

This comes after the Jamaica Teachers’ Association, JTA, indicated that it’s also displeased with the proposed reforms to the Pensions Bill.

It’s also rallying its members to fight the government on the matter.

The JCTU President says the majority of her members don’t have a fundamental problem with contributing to their pension. But Mrs. Davis Whyte says under the legislation, currently tabled before Parliament, the government will not be matching employees’ contribution. And that’s a problem for them.

She says this is ‘dangerous’ and ‘iniquitous’.

Mrs. Davis Whyte says the vast majority of her members would be worse off under the new arrangement.

Currently, public sector workers do not contribute to their pensions. The government wants to change that.

Mrs. Davis Whyte says the JCTU will write Prime Minister Andrew Holness, asking for him to urgently intervene.

She says previous talks with the Finance Ministry were unsatisfactory.

Mrs. Davis Whyte says she doesn’t want the bill to go through Parliament without the Confederation’s concerns being addressed.