Unions Sign New Public Sector Compensation Agreement

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke (fourth right) pictured alongside stakeholders, including some union representatives, signifying agreements on the Government's new public sector compensation system. (Photos: JIS)

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFPS) has reached agreement with a number of major public sector trade unions, including a majority of the unions in the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, on the new, restructured public sector compensation system.

Between Tuesday November 15 and Thursday November 17, fourteen unions have signed with the MOFPS on the new compensation package including, the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Jamaica Civil Service Association, the Jamaica Workers Union, the Union of Schools Agricultural and Allied Workers Union, the Union of Public and Private Employees,  the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers, the Jamaica Midwives Association, the Council of Paramedics and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.

These unions represent approximately 60,000 employees.

Dr Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, says this is a momentous development given the four years of work that have gone into designing the new compensation system and the extensive period of consultation with unions.

“We set out on this journey in 2018 and we would not be here without the partnership with the unions who agreed to a four-year wage deal that allowed this work to commence. We engaged consultants and shared the results with our union partners. Since that time we have held several rounds of consultations and I am pleased that we have been able to achieve consensus even as the Ministry continues to work through some finer points with the unions and staff associations,” the Minister said

Minister Clarke added “This is a watershed moment as the Government seeks to transform the public sector into a modern public service.”

He reiterated that the current compensation system does not serve the needs of the public sector or the country as a whole.

“I commend the unions for the level of commitment they demonstrated throughout the process. I want to encourage those that are still reviewing the Government’s proposal to complete that review in short order. Time is of the essence,” Dr Clarke said.

Minister Clarke noted that it is the Government’s commitment to implement a public sector compensation that is fair, transparent and sustainable while emphasizing that every public sector worker will be better off financially, when the new system is implemented.

The new compensation system will be implemented over three years with an effective date of 1 April 2022 and will cost approximately $120B over the period.