Gov't considering system to evaluate public sector workers
People's National Party Member of Parliament of St Catherine Eastern, Denise Daley and Prime Minister Andrew Holness plant a poui tree in Hartlands, St Catherine on Tuesday – Labour Day. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)

PRIME Minister Andrew Holness has signalled to government workers that they will be subjected to a management and accountability system under the public sector compensation review, that will help to determine if they deserve pay increases in the future.

"The Government is now well underway in the implementation of the compensation review. As I explained [at a press conference Monday], compensation was necessary to improve the remuneration of public sector workers to bring them closer to market salaries, improved motivation, attract talent and to retain talent. The compensation review is not just about paying salaries. It is also about establishing a system of performance management and accountability framework," Holness said on Tuesday at National Labour Day activities in Hartlands, St Catherine.

He said that a proper system of monitoring along with good compensation is crucial to transforming the public sector.

"The Government is always trying to improve growth. One of the ways is to improve productivity. It is a very complex subject but one of the ways is to increase the motivation and that is the salary component. There are other ways to motivate but pay is an important part. Another element of increasing the productivity of workers is to establish a clear and transparent system of measuring effort," Holness said.

Pacha Ricketts paints a pedestrian crossing on Olympic Way in St Andrew on – Labour Day.

"What we wouldn't want is for somebody putting out little effort to get more pay than somebody who puts out more effort. You need to have a transparent and efficient system that measures efforts and output. In the next two years we will be able to settle on a system of performance evaluation. If you want increases in your pay, then it shouldn't be that the increases are only pegged to inflation. It should depend on what you have achieved in your job, based on agreed targets.

"We want the public service to start thinking that if you put out more effort that is properly measured, assessed and agreed, you can have increased pay as well. When we have this performance-based system, then the next thing now is the accountability system. If we agree on the standards and people don't perform, how do we hold you to account? The same question is being asked of politicians, but it also has to do with the entire public service."

The Labour Day focus was on increasing road safety by improving road markings and signs, while beautification projects and tree planting.

Following Holness' speech, he led a team of government officials and volunteers to plant trees along the PJ Patterson leg of Highway 2000.

The aim was to plant 10, 000 trees islandwide.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia "Babsy" Grange said the tree-planting activity was a success although there were some setbacks during execution of the project.

BY JASON CROSS Observer staff reporter

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