$312 a week? ‘Sell the SUVs and pay the workers!’

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Friday, February 22, 2013

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JAMAICA Observer online readers have largely viewed as an insult, Government's offer of a $312-per-week one-off payment to public sector workers — over the next two years — as part of a $1.5-billion Heads of Agreement proposal to the trade unions in the sector in an effort to conclude negotiations on a new contract and meet the preconditions for for a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund. The proposal has been soundly rejected by the civil servants. Here are some edited comments:


Dollar sliding, property taxes up by 155 per cent; $16-billion taxes increase; $11-billion rape of the NHT without contributors' input; and utilities up, more SUV's for politicians, but only $312 more per week for civil servants. Only police and politicians will be able to live decently in Jamaica. A second-consecutive four-year wage freeze for Jamaican workers in the making, while the price of EVERYTHING goes up! This is the haitianisation of my people. Wow!

sick of this

Sell the SUVs and pay the workers!


@sick of this: Agreed. But what amazes me is that the people are not hitting the streets to protest.

fence sitter

Ridiculous. No increase since 2008, and you're offering $1,250 per month. Tantamount to a slap in the face.

Enos Anderson

Only in Jamaica. Workers in other countries, First-World countries included, have accepted wage cuts and reduced their numbers because of harsh economic times. But, in Jamaica, our public sector workers are asking for increases. Where have these union representatives been for the last year? Has reality not yet caught up with them and their members that Jamaica is broke? I say fire 50 per cent of the workforce and freeze the wages of the rest, but first ask who wants to be in the group that goes home.


@ Enos Anderson: Since you have been living under a rock or in a cave let me inform you with what goin' on. The government has bought several new SUVs for the ministers; they, themselves, refuse to take a pay cut; and they go on these expensive party trips all with taxpayers' money. I agree sacrifices are needed to fix Jamaica, but it has to start with the Government. They have such a large Cabinet and so many consultants, it is a shame. The people can't accept these cuts until the Government does the same.

Gara Sands

@Enos Anderson: A bet u don't live here? I am a GOJ employee and I have no issue with a wage freeze. However, when [the] GOJ becomes serious about handling the people's business then u can talk the way u r talking now. How can u spend $60 million on new cars, then ask workers to hold strain; renovate offices, take trips all over the place claiming to be doing work (with no proof) on taxpayers money; put a $16-billion tax package on the already over taxed country, while prices are going up. U want to talk this way? MP and ministers take a small cut out of the $4 million they get paid per year...

fence sitter

@ Enos Anderson: Five years of wage freeze seems to have been lost on u. What a completely deluded comment!


The Government has made it bad for themselves after employing their friends and sympathisers as consultants, advisors and personal assistants with hefty salaries, plus spending over $60 million for SUVs for another set of non-perfomers. The Government who refuses to lead by example, by taking a pay cut and be apart of the sacrifice in attaining the goals set. Did they really believe the poor public servants would just turn over and play dead. We are willing to make a sacrifice, but it must include all of us. The poor and vulnerable cannot be asked to bear it all alone, notwithstanding the taxes that will come by April.

Suzette Bookal

What an insult! Are they even aware of the inflation rate and the cost of living?


If we should give all MPs a crash course in business 101, maybe they would be able to be less dependent on consultants and advisors and could reduce their individual budget. This would reduce the expenditure and our GDP-to-expense ratio would meet the requirement.


As long as we each think only about ourselves Jamaica will never be better. Thank God you have a job, people!




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