Public sector workers won't accept another wage freeze - trade union
As Jamaica prepares to enter another agreement with the International Monetary (IMF), at least one trade union is making it clear its members will not accept another public sector wage freeze.
Last week, the Office of the Prime Minister announced that Jamaica has reached a staff level deal for a new three-year stand-by agreement with the IMF.
The announcement has raised the question of whether public sector workers will be subjected to a wage freeze, as has happened under previous IMF agreements.
However, the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), which represents over 80,000 workers, says its members will not accept a wage freeze under any future agreement between Jamaica and the IMF.
President of the JCSA, Oniel Grant says the quality of life of many of its members was reduced under the last three-year wage freeze, which ended in 2015.
He says more public sector workers will leave Jamaica for overseas jobs if they face another wage freeze.
Grant also says it doesn’t make sense for the government to cut jobs, as a significant number of public servants are in the three vital sectors of health, education and national security.
After the last wage freeze ended, some public sector workers requested close to 30 per cent increase in wages, over a two-year period.
However, they were forced to accept a seven per cent increase as the government said higher wages would derail its agreement with the IMF.