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PSOJ, trade unionist comment on IMF's demand for Jamaica to cut wage bill

Published:Thursday | December 17, 2015 | 12:39 AM

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and trade unionist, Helene Davis White, say the government must intensify its efforts to modernise the public sector to bring about more economic growth. 

The two were reacting to yesterday's demand by the International Monetary Fund, for Jamaica to undertake concrete efforts to cut its wage bill, the latest sign of the fund's apparent impatience with the pace of government action. 

PSOJ president, William Mahfood, says the government is faced with two options to meet its wage target of nine per cent of  the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

One option is to cut the salaries or the number of public sector workers and the other option is to increase economic growth. 

According to Mahfood, the government needs to be decisive about the option it will pursue.

 

PSOJ president, William Mahfood

Vice-president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Helene Davis-White agrees with the PSOJ boss on the options the government faces. 

However, she says discussions with the government and the IMF do not suggest any massive job cuts. 

 

Trade unionist, Helene Davis-White

In September, the IMF warned that Jamaica would be limited to undesirable policy options if it is to achieve next year's target of cutting the public sector wage bill to nine per cent of GDP.

The GDP is the total value of a country's goods and services.

The wage bill for the current financial year is projected at 10.1 per cent with public sector wage talks still incomplete.