Court to rule if JPS is to pay $600 million to workers
Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is to know on March 27 if it will have to pay an additional $600 million with interest to certain of its workers.
The full amount with interest is approximately $1billion.
The Court of Appeal reserved its decision until March, after hearing legal submissions from Queen's Counsel Patrick Foster, who represents JPS and Queen's Counsel Lord anthony Gifford, who represents the unions.
The JPS is appealing a Judicial Review Court ruling that it owes additional money to the workers for overtime and retroactive redundancy payments for 2001-2007.
The respondents are the Union of Clerical Administrative and Supervisory Employees, the National Workers Union and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.
A dispute arose between JPS and the unions representing the workers over job reclassification for 2001-2007.
A firm of consultants was asked to review the issue and concluded that the amount owing was $4.2 billion.
JPS claimed that if it had to pay that amount it would no longer be viable and would have to close down.
The unions along with the workers entered into discussions with JPS and in 2008 a Heads of Agreement was signed for JPS to pay $2.3 billion to the workers and that was done.
However, the workers claimed that the money paid was only for basic pay and demanded payment for overtime and retroactive redundancy.
The matter was referred to the Industrial Disputes Tribunal which ruled that the JPS was not liable to make any further payment.
The matter was brought to the Judicial Review Court where Justice Kirk Anderson quashed the IDT's ruling on the grounds that only basic pay was dealt with.
The JPS disagreed with the ruling and appealed it.
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