Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Public-sector workers want Government to make offer on transport allowances

Published:Tuesday | May 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Oneil Grant

As the price of oil escalates on the international market, impacting the cost per litre at the pumps locally, public-sector workers are running out of patience as they wait on the Government to make an offer of transport allowances for the current negotiating period.

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service had inked salary agreements with a significant number of bargaining groups in the public sector for the four-year period ending March 2021. However, to date, several groups have not yet signed off on reimbursable expenses.

O'Neil Grant, president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), told The Gleaner that he had submitted a claim for transport expenses on behalf of public-sector workers but the Government was yet to make an offer. He said that at the time the union submitted its claim, it had factored in the projected increase in the price of oil.

"What we asked for is deemed reasonable and we are now awaiting the Ministry of Finance to make an offer to us, and coming out of that offer we will sit down and negotiate as to what the Government can afford to pay.

"As it is now, public-sector workers are again at a point of heavily subsidising the Government for doing the Government's work, and we want to see how quickly we can get these things adjusted so that workers can close this off," Grant said.

The JCSA president added that he would be writing to the finance ministry to request feedback on the issue.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com