Mon | Feb 19, 2018

Cultural cock-up - JCDC employees to be allowed to keep unscheduled increase

Published:Sunday | February 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue

At least 20 employees of the Jamaica Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC) who were granted an 'unscheduled' incremental increase some four years ago will be allowed to keep the money.

However, they will have to work an extra year to qualify for another increase.

The error, which was made by the JCDC's human resources department, saw the employees getting an increase when they should not.

"After some consultation, it was determined that it was a clerical error that would have caused them to be given an increment to which they were not entitled at the time.

"It would have meant that they would have got an increment in a very short space of time, when the reclassification came through," O'Neil Grant, president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, told The Sunday Gleaner.

"So after some discussion, it has been agreed that there will not be any levy on the salaries of the employees. They would be asked to spend some extra time before they qualify for the next increment. That time would be another year," added Grant.

 

EXTRA YEAR OF WORK

 

He said that the decision is not yet set in stone as the terms are still being finalised, but the overpaid workers have indicated a willingness to spend the extra year rather than lose thousands of dollars, which would have accumulated since the increase was granted.

Among the issues considered in hammering out an agreement was an acknowledgement that the employees were granted the increase and it was accepted in "good faith".

He said that the error came about because of the JCDC's release of instructions to pay.

"What the entity will have to do is to look at its internal systems and make sure that the error does not happen again. I have been in brief conversations with the new executive director and he has assured me that they are going through and doing their various due diligence to fix these loopholes within the organisation that would have caused such an error," said Grant.

He added that continuous dialogue will take place between the leadership of the JCDC and the union.

Nearly four years ago, JCDC employees were given the incremental increase which is provided to tenured civil servants.

Much later, it was realised that an error was made and the entity asked individuals to repay the money.

This was rejected by the employees, who called in the Jamaica Civil Service Association which represents them.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com