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'We are on board' - Unions ready for public sector transformation

Published:Friday | January 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell

With the Government yesterday outlining plans for the implementation of the public-sector transformation programme this year, unions representing workers in the service have said that they are on board.

Helene Davis Whyte, president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, told The Gleaner that mergers and shared services were already being implemented following discussions between the Government and stakeholders in the public sector.

"I don't think there are any surprises. We are on board," said Davis Whyte, adding that "we just need to make sure that whatever is done is in keeping with the consultative arrangements that are there".


She argued that the Public Sector Oversight Transformation Committee would ensure that the transformation process was carried out transparently. The unions have a representative on the oversight body.

O'Neil Grant, president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, said that he, too, was not surprised at the prime minister's comments but was refreshed by the tone of his presentation.

He said that the challenge facing stakeholders was to ensure that public-sector workers are prepared psychologically for the changes to come and how it will affect them.

"If the services are to be outsourced, we want the commitment from the Government that any department or agencies whose functions are going to be outsourced that the workers are going to be the ones first in place for those new jobs. So the devil is going to be in the details," he reasoned.