Don't overlook value of public sector workers
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I am writing to express my total disgust at the cartoon by Las May in Tuesday's edition (May 15, 2012) of The Gleaner.
Perhaps some may view an anchor with positive connotations - strength, reliability, firmness and an indispensable instrument to keep the ship from drifting away. However, the impression given by the cartoon reflects a certain misguided perception that is completely offensive to the nation's hard-working, dedicated, underpaid, long-suffering and barely cherished public servants.
It is, in essence, saying that it is the civil service which is holding back Jamaica and impeding the administration's 'onward' efforts. Rather, the service should have been portrayed as the oars - battered and used but pushing along. It is a complete disrespect and offensive to all diligent and committed public-sector workers.
Without dismissing the obvious need for reform, persons who hold this erroneous perspective should stop and consider the conditions under which public servants are called to work. Under-resourced ministries and departments, called on to deliver beyond capacity, underpaid not only in comparison to the private sector but in comparison to other public services around the world; criticised and demonised at every turn by many in the media and elsewhere.
My delay in responding to this edition, for example, was caused not by procrastination but rather to finding a space amid the never-ending requests, calls, emails, papers, meetings, etc.
If you disagree with my view of public-sector workers, maybe you should advocate just cutting loose the anchor. Let's see where the country could then drift.