President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, JCSA, Oneil Grant, says his members have no trust in the Transport Minister, Dr. Omar Davies.
This, over the Minister’s role in the recent imposition of bus fare increases for the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company, without consultations with the unions representing public sector workers.
Mr. Grant made the admission today while speaking on Nationwide This Morning.
He says Dr. Davies’ action does not bode well for honest negotiations between the government and the unions for a new Heads of Agreement in the public sector.
That issue of trust was raised again last Friday, after Mr. Grant insisted that Minister Davies had given his word, during a meeting with union leaders, that the matter would go to Cabinet before the fare increases took effect.
The JCSA is vexed with the conduct of Dr. Davies before and after his announcement last week of a fare increase for the JUTC.
The association was initially upset at the absence of consultation, before the announced fare increase last Wednesday.
Then, after meeting with the Minister last Friday and being assured by him that the increases would be held pending further high level discussions, the JCSA was incensed when it was announced that an adjustment had been made to the increase levied on the fare for senior citizens.
Mr. Grant says its clear to him that Dr. Davies does not understand the impact that a bus fare increase will have on the livelihoods of members of the public service.
He says he’s worried that other members of Cabinet may share this lack of understanding.
Mr. Grant says Dr. Davies is clearly unaware of the sacrosanct nature of the agreement signed by public sector workers with the government, to share the burden, as the economy goes through a period of adjustment and transformation.
The JCSA President was asked whether he would decline to meet with Dr. Davies alone, in order to resolve the issues surrounding the increase in bus fares.