Civil service association concerned about possible gov't staff cuts to increase wages
The President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, O’Neil Grant, is warning the government against resorting to cutting staff to keep wages in line with the conditions of its agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Jamaica must reform its public sector to, among other things, reduce the public-sector wage bill to at least nine per cent of GDP by March 2016.
Some $161.7 billion of the current $540-billion Budget is being used to pay wages, representing a wage bill of 10 per cent of GDP.
However, Grant says a slash in the public sector numbers and the government risks failing IMF’s tests and seriously compromising the public sector.
He made the declaration at a meeting of the association in Clarendon yesterday, where he told members to expect a wage increase come April 1.
Finance Minister, Dr Peter Phillips has already indicated that there will be a wage increase.
However, he has cautioned the public sector workers not to expect a huge jump.
Grant says the percentage increase in public sector wages is the major concern for his association.
The Government has been in wage negotiations with public sector unions since last year.
THE GLEANER MINUTE