Better pay coming for poor relief workers — McKenzie

Better pay coming for poor relief workers — McKenzie

Observer writer

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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ROSE HALL, St James — Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie says discussions are far advanced to have the salaries of qualified and skilled professionals within poor relief services islandwide, such as registered nurses, improved.

“The discussions on the improvement in the salaries are well advanced. We are now well out of the blocks in terms of the discussions as it relates to bringing up the registered nurses up to the same level as those who work in our public hospitals across the country,” stated the minister.

He made it clear that he will not relent on ensuring that their salaries represent the outstanding work that they are doing for the poor and destitute.

McKenzie argued that the low salaries being paid to local government workers have resulted in challenges to keep some of the brightest and potential leaders, hence the current move to encourage people to stay.

The minister also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance has given the green light for the employment of dieticians and physiotherapists who will be placed in all infirmaries across the island.

“I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Finance has granted us permission to put in for the first time in our infirmaries 16 dieticians and physiotherapists. And, so when we roll out this new dispensation, it will be done to service all our locations across the country,” McKenzie explained.

He was speaking at the inaugural awards ceremony for over 100 of the island's poor relief workers at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James on Thursday.

McKenzie later told the Jamaica Observer that the employment process for the dieticians and physiotherapists will begin next year.

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