Public sector workers to get modest wage increase

Public sector workers to get modest wage increase

Saturday, February 20, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, says that public sector workers will receive a modest increase in salary during the upcoming financial year.

He made the disclosure as he tabled the 2021/22 Estimates of Expenditure in the House of Representatives on February 18.

“After factoring in annual increments, a very modest increase in wages has therefore been programmed for financial year 2021/22 with the expectation that the compensation restructure will commence implementation in financial year 2022/23,” he noted.

Dr Clarke said that the Government will be delaying by one year, the implementation of the compensation restructure for public sector workers, as the Administration focuses on Jamaica's recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He explained that the expected continuation of the impact of the pandemic on Jamaica, as well as the fiscal balance constraints, have limited the Government's ability to commence implementation during financial year 2021/22.

“We have undergone a thorough review and examination of public sector compensation as we promised we would. Given the massive impact of the pandemic, we do not have the resources to begin the implementation of the review and finance our recovery at the same time,” he noted.

“Furthermore, it is critical that whatever resources we can corral, we use this year on vaccines, the distribution of vaccines, our social and economic recovery—inclusive of jobs—as well as social support of those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic,” he added.

The minister pointed out that unlike other countries, Jamaica's public sector has been largely shielded from the financial impact of the pandemic.

There have been 130,000 job losses in Jamaica as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and none of them are from the public service.

“So, we ask for your understanding and for your continued patience and this includes all who are paid by the public purse, and are not necessarily unionised in the traditional sense, inclusive of parliamentarians and others,” Dr Clarke said.

He noted that the Government will use this year to fine-tune the parameters of the compensation restructure with the unions so that “we can move towards beginning implementation in financial year 2022/23”.

— JIS


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