The bomb that detonated at Gordon House
It was as if a bomb had exploded when news broke that salaries would be significantly increased for judges and politicians.

Dear Editor,

Public sector workers have been sitting with their mouths wide open after the Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke detonated two money bombs on the nation.

The first bomb contained the increase in salaries of judges, and the other, the increase in salaries for parliamentarians. The bombs were detonated after the finance minister and the public sector unions exhausted almost one year of wage negotiations. These negotiations were painstaking and ended with the the unions agreeing to a starving percentage. One of the tactics employed was to imply that the workers would lose out if they did not sign by April 1, 2023.

The public sector workers are in awe, not because judges and politicians got an increase, but because of the magnitude of the increase, with no known hassle. The announced increases ranged from six per cent in year one to over 200 per cent in year three. Public sector workers are particularly disgruntled at the effort they have to exert in building the nation, only to be paid a stipend that is constantly being eroded by inflation.

The announcement of the Mount Everest-like increase has sent shock waves through not only the public sector but also the private sector.

The word on the street is that the Government has rubbed salt in the open wounds of the already-wounded public sector workers. The masses seem to believe that the increase in salaries is excessive, and it is further proof that it doesn't make sense to be a patriotic Jamaican.

One of the reasons given for the significant increase in judges' salaries is that they are not allowed to practise as lawyers in Jamaica upon retirement. This, when examined closely, is a pitiful rationale as public servants' pensions are malnourished like the dry bones the prophet Elisha, of biblical fame, spoke to in the valley. The parliamentarians on the other hand can work until they become dinosaurs, living the lifestyle of celebrities.

On the face of it, our leaders seem to be on a mission to keep the people at the minimum wage level while they soar on the wings of excess.

With the continued disregard that's shown to our essential workers, it is easy to understand why some risk their lives to cross the border or jump ship to wash plates in another land, where they are better compensated for their services.

Hezekan Bolton

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