Mon | Dec 17, 2018

Retro pay won't compromise wage talks, says Shaw

Published:Thursday | March 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter
Audley Shaw, minister of finance and the public service, closing the 2018-2019 Budget Debate in Gordon House yesterday.

The Police Federation has a final opportunity today to indicate if its members are willing to accept retroactive payments up to April 2017, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw disclosed while closing the 2018-19 Budget Debate yesterday.

"It will be paid without prejudicing their ongoing negotiations. Our policemen and women, our nurses, our teachers, all of them deserve their back pay like everybody else," declared Shaw.

 

Chided Opposition

 

He went on to chide the Opposition. "Some of them want to oppose it, and check your bank account, members of Parliament have got their back pay to April of last year. You have got it. So if you get it, why shouldn't our teachers get it? Why shouldn't our nurses get it?"

Shaw argued that the payment would not have an adverse impact on the rights of the trade unions to negotiate a new wage agreement, saying, "It is a pre-payment that would otherwise have to be delayed until 2020."

On Tuesday, the Nurses' Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Teachers' Association accepted the retroactive pay while they continue wage talks. The groups have rejected the Government's offer of a 16 per cent increase over a four-year period.