Lay-offs not ultimate goal of public sector transformation — PSTOC chair

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Co-Chair of the Public Sector Transformation Oversight Committee (PSTOC), Danny Roberts says that while “the process of public sector transformation will result in job losses for public sector workers, it is not the ultimate goal of the transformation process".

Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) Staff Association in downtown Kingston last Thursday, Roberts said that public sector workers should seize opportunities that will arise through the link between quality institutions and economic growth. This, he said, is to ensure that job losses in the public sector can be absorbed by the private sector in an expanding and sustainable economic growth environment.

In a release on his remarks today, Roberts was quoted as saying “the final outcome of the transformation exercise … must seek to create quality public service institutions that facilitate an environment that is conducive to economic growth and development and lead to quality jobs, and a better quality of life for public sector workers and the public at large.”

The PSTOC co-chair said PSTOC is not presiding over job losses as the final outcome of the transformation process, but sees the work of his oversight committee integral to the work of EPOC and the Economic Growth Council.

Roberts said that conversations with public sector workers will commence next year so that they can express freely and fully their concerns, fears, expectations and desires to the committee.

Roberts also noted that there is a need to reframe public sector wage negotiations that focuses on positive outcomes and that “the birth of a new negotiating model that places emphasis on creating value and mitigating harm could result in a significant increase in nominal wage even at a nine per cent wage bill to GDP.”

He called on the parties to examine the Interest-Based Bargaining Model, which is an alternative negotiating strategy in which both parties collaborate to find a ‘win-win’ solution to their dispute.

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