Public-Sector trade-union leaders, along with lead negotiators and technical advisers from the public service, are scheduled to meet in a three-day workshop to explore new models of collective bargaining designed to focus on identifying underlying interests that will increase their ability to develop win-win solutions in wage and fringe-benefit negotiations.
The workshop, scheduled to run from June 5 to 7 at the Wyndham Kingston hotel, under the theme: 'Re-Inventing Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector', is being organised by the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute and the Department of Management Studies, University of the West Indies (UWI), with the full backing and endorsement of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and the Public Service.
Finance and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips, along with Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness, the minister without portfolio with responsibility for the public service, Horace Dalley, and Dean of the School of Labour and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois, Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, will be among a list of speakers to address the opening ceremony of the workshop on Monday, June 4 at the Mona Visitors' Lodge and Conference Centre.
Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, Danny Roberts, said that the nation needs to radically depart from the conjunctive approach to wage negotiations, where the exercise of power through threat or coercion comes in the form of possible industrial action, or warning of public sector layoffs or cutbacks in social spending if wage increases are granted.
He said that with Jamaica in its current state of fiscal consolidation, wage stagnation, weak domestic demand and low GDP growth, the model of collective bargaining with highly structured approaches applying interest-based principles is most desirable.
Approximately 50 participants are confirmed to attend the workshop, which will be conducted by Professor Gershenfeld and Dr Noel Cowell, senior lecturer at the Department of Management Studies, UWI.