97 per cent of public sector workers have signed wage agreement
Ninety-seven per cent of public sector workers have now signed on to the Heads of Agreement for wage increase and improved benefits for the 2015/17 period.
The latest groups to accept the agreement are the United District Constables Association, as well as the Jamaica Federation of Corrections and Senior Uniformed Officers Association, representing correctional officers.
They signed last Tuesday, during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Kingston.
They have agreed to a seven per cent increase in salaries for the contract period, with a four per cent increase in the first year and the remaining three per cent in year two.
TRIBUTE TO PATRIOTISM
Portfolio Minister Dr Peter Phillips said the signing is "a tribute to the patriotism, the spirit of compromise, and commitment to service that was manifest by the groups concerned. And I want to pay sincere tribute to them".
"We have sought, as best as we can, to address some issues having to do with welfare ... that we have agreed to continue to discuss in the case of the correctional officers.
"We have agreed, as in the case of the district constables ... to enter into a pension agreement, which is new for them, but brings them into the mainstream of the public sector in that regard," he said.
The finance minister said it is hoped that the Government will be able to reach an agreement with the remaining groups early next year.
Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, for his part, said he is satisfied that a very responsible approach has been taken to the negotiations by all the representative groups within the ministry that have now signed the agreement.
"We may have started off a little bit rocky earlier in the year, but I think good sense and commitment to the overall well-being of Jamaica has guided the negotiations," he said.