KINGSTON, Jamaica: The government of Jamaica has settled its long running pay dispute with public sector workers after the last union holding out – the Police Federation – agreed to accept the offer.
The agreement that will see the workers getting a seven per cent increase that was due since 2009 will be signed sometime this week, according to Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for the Public Service Senator Arthur Williams, so that implementation can take place in September.
Under the plan, the government will pay the retroactive sums over a 26-month period, starting in May, 2012 and ending in October, 2014. The Police Federation had previously demanded that all the money paid by May, 2013.
In announcing the Police Federation’s decision, Williams expressed gratitude to the public sector workers for their “patience and understanding of the difficulties which faced the country and which resulted in the wage increase not being instituted before now”.
The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Police Officers Association, Island Special Constabulary Force Officers Association and Island Special Constabulary Force Association (Rank and File), confirmed their acceptance of the offer last month to settle the issue, which has been the subject of negotiations over the past several weeks.
They were to sign the agreement on June 24 but Prime Minister Bruce Golding postponed it to give the other unions more time to reconsider their position. The Nurses Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Teachers Association and the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association agreed to the offer the following day, after consultations with members, leaving the Police Federation as the only group refusing the deal.