Thu | Jan 27, 2022

Workers seek respectable salary, not luxuries

Published:Monday | November 29, 2021 | 12:06 AM


‘We want wi money’ is the cry of the rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as they press the Government for overtime allowances owed to them for over a decade. The officers were out in their numbers in Montego Bay and in Kingston, to give support to their ‘union’ (Police Federation), which has brought the Government to court over the issue. The issue of increased salary has been a sour point for public-sector workers, who have been crying foul over the starving four per cent increase that the Government is offering.

The workers are frowning at the Government’s tardiness in paying over monies for COVID-19 work, summer school, National Housing Trust, and other important reimbursement for sweat and sacrifice. The public servants argue that they are at a disadvantage working for the Government, by having to wash dirty laundry in public for their voices to be heard. The definition given to the word ‘essential’ is absolutely necessary, or extremely important. The public servants of Jamaica, ironically in a ‘police and civil servants week’, do not feel that their services are important.

They are asking, “If we are important, why we can’t be paid enough to meet our daily needs? Why can’t the honourable Government honour their simple obligations of making the ‘Benjamins’ paid to the public servants worth their while? Judging from the cries of the essential workers they are not asking for $1-million birthday cakes or $23 million to be paid to them while they were on leave, but for the Government to be a ‘man’ of their words and ‘give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’.

Christmas is almost here, and the only bonus civil servants know and understand is more work. The definition for ‘essential’ is being relegated to a colloquial expression ’allibutton’ (one who works hard, but gets no reward). The public-sector workers, now more than ever, are looking to drain the brains out of Jamaica, to go to places that will essentially treat them as essentials. ‘Tis the sad reality.