Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Not another wage freeze

Published:Thursday | October 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Let the negotiation begin! The Government of the day will not get away with this one. The public-service workers are holding their breaths for the negotiation of better remuneration that will begin in a matter of months. The last time we were granted an increase was for the period 2006-2008. Since then, cost of living has gone up and our standard of living has gone down. Let me warn those who will be negotiating on our behalf that we will not allow them to find themselves this time around in bed with the Government while we, the backbone of the society, languish in abject poverty.

When the negotiation starts, we will be watching every move and every step that the Government takes. While we are cognisant of the tight economic space in which we function and the conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the condition under which many of us work must supersede the Government and the IMF's problem.

Many of the maladies affecting the country are as a result of the policymakers' own doing and the cavalier and disrespectful way in which they manage people's affairs. Let me warn the Jamaica Teachers' Association, of which I am a part, that we don't expect them to allow the Government this time around to bamboozle and hoodwink them because of any political expediency.

Growing poverty

I will not allow the prime minister to get away with this one. In her address to Comrades during the People's National Party annual conference in September, she alluded to the fact that more persons have been added to the PATH Programme since her Government assumed office in 2012. How many of us have ever stopped to dissect the prime minister's statement? In other words, it can't be good news if more persons are added to a welfare programme. What it simply means is that more persons have become poorer. Is that a manifestation by our most honourable prime minister and head of the government that more persons have crossed over to the poverty line? The PATH Programme might very well become the key that unlocks the door to poverty. Is that how you feel? If not, what are your thoughts?

HARVEY BROWN

Educator and administrator

Harveybrown20082yahoo.com