Confederation of Trade Unions to continue pressing for increased wage offer
The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) says it will continue to press for an increased wage offer, despite the government's insistence that it cannot pay public sector workers more than a seven-per cent increase.
In a national broadcast last night, Finance Minister, Dr Peter Phillips stressed that it would be fiscally reckless to borrow more money in order to give higher wages to civil servants.
The Finance Minister called for public sector workers and unions to cooperate with the government.
However, Vice-President of the JCTU, Helene Davis Whyte, which represents more than 40,000 public sector workers, says her members have already rejected the seven per cent wage offer and have mandated the union to press the government for more.
Davis Whyte says while the membership understands the country’s financial climates, they remain resolute that they are in need of a reprieve after a five-year wage freeze.
The JCTU vice-president says the union will be seeking a meeting with the Finance Minister this week to continue negotiations and put forward its appeals for a higher wage offer.
Davis Whyte points out that the union has signed off on the majority of the items in the wage claim submitted to the Government by the JCTU.
The JCTU vice-president says the union has been pursuing what she calls a total package approach in the negotiations.
Davies Whyte explains that the union has sought out long-term benefits and non-cash incentives for its members.
She concedes that the union may not get all it wants in one wage cycle and therefore it has to negotiate in the best interest of its members in the long run.