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Government offers seven per cent increase to nurses, NAJ says it's too low

Published:Friday | June 12, 2015 | 6:28 PM

The government has offered public sector nurses a seven per cent wage increase.

President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ), Janett Farr, says the oral offer was made yesterday when the parties met to begin wage negotiations.

Farr says the association is awaiting a letter with a formal written offer.

She says after receiving the proposal, it will be discussed with the membership.

The NAJ president says the seven per cent, which is now on the table, is too low an offer which nurses cannot accept.

She points out that nurses, like public sector workers, have been under a wage freeze for five years and now need a reprieve to offset the decline in their spending power.

 

NAJ President, Janett Farr

The government has made the same seven per cent wage offer to other public sector groups.

The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Union (JCTU), which represents more than $40,000 public sector workers, has indicated that it is close to reaching an agreement with the government and that the parties are likely to ink a deal when they next meet.

The union which represents public sector teachers has expressed concern that the ability of other public sector groups to get a better wage offer could be impacted negatively if the JCTU accepts the seven-per cent increase.

Jamaica Teacher’s Association President, Doran Dixon, said if the JCTU accepts it could change the dynamics of the negotiations.

However, the JCTU said any agreement reached between the union and the government should have no bearing on the negotiation with other unions.