Government paid workers, unions ready to fight for 'fair' pension arrangement
Helene Davis Whyte, the President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), says public sector workers and their unions will not relent in their demand for a fair pension arrangement for government paid workers.
Davis-Whyte says JCTU members, who form the majority of the more than 100,000 public workers, are prepared to go the distance against any action by the Government that will put civil servants at a disadvantage.
The Government has indicated in its agreement with the International Monetary Fund that it would introduce new legislation in April that would change retirement benefits to its employees.
The JCTU president argues that, if implemented, the proposed changes would see public sector workers retiring with less money.
Currently, public sector workers do not contribute to their pensions, but the Government wants to introduce a five per cent contributory scheme.
It also wants to stop contributing to the scheme, cut the pension payout for those who retire early, change how pensions would be calculated, among other things.
Davis Whyte says unions and public sector works are not in agreement with most of the proposed changes as they believe they would put government employees in a financially burdensome situation.
She says the JCTU met with Ministry of Finance officials recently to discuss the matter but the confederation remains dissatisfied.
Davis-Whyte says the association will be seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Andrew Holness.