Gov't to honour pledges to public sector
WITH THE current wage agreement with public-sector workers ending on March 31 this year, the Government is again signalling that while it does not intend to ask workers for another period of wage freeze, the nine per cent wage to GDP target must be met this fiscal year.
This is another strong indication by the Portia Simpson Miller administration that public-sector workers should not expect a significant hike in wages this financial year.
In presenting the Throne Speech marking the start of the new legislative year, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen said the Government was committed to honouring all outstanding obligations that it signed with public-sector workers.
The annual performance increment of 2.5 per cent and the third trance of the health sector reclassification will be paid this year.
FINAL ONE-OFF PAYMENT
Additionally, the Government has pledged to honour the final one-off payment of 25,000 to public-sector workers, which formed part of the 2012 to 2015 Heads of Agreement.
"We will honour the payment of all arrears to various public-sector groups, from previous settlements such as our firefighters, education officers, correctional officers, and medical officers," Sir Patrick pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Government said it would deliver approximately 400 housing solutions this financial year for families in Clarendon and St Thomas under the Sugar Transformation Programme
Another 49 infrastructure projects will be carried out in Clarendon, St Thomas, Trelawny, St Catherine, St Elizabeth, and Westmoreland.
Sir Patrick told members of the legislature that 15,000 land titles would be delivered this year to Jamaicans under the Land Administration and Management Programme.
Yesterday's presentation of the Throne Speech in February marked the earliest start to the Parliamentary year and the presentation of the annual budget.
"It is taking place well before the start of the new Financial Year in April. For the first time, the tabling of the Estimates of Expenditure will be accompanied by the Revenue Measures for the Budget," the Governor General explained.