JAM | May 24, 2023

Gov’t well underway with public sector compensation review -Holness

/ Our Today

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing a press conference held at Jamaica House on Monday, May 22, 2023. (Photo: Contributed)

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says the Government is well under way with the implementation of the controversial public-sector compensation review and transformation.

Addressing Tuesday’s (May 23) Labour Day tree-planting exercise in Hartlands, St Catherine, Holness said the review covers, among other things, increased payment for workers as well as the establishment of a performance evaluation and management system and an accountability framework.

He said these are expected to boost the levels of productivity in the sector and, ultimately, the country.

“When each of us becomes more productive at the job that we do, the entire country grows. So how do you improve productivity? It’s a very complex subject area. But one of the ways is to increase the motivation of workers, and that’s the salary component. Clearly, salary is not the only component in improving motivation. There are other issues, job satisfaction issues, conditions of work. But pay is an important part,”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Holness said a clear and transparent system that measures output is also critical to the process.

“We are working on that. Our timeline is in the next two years [during which] we should be able to settle that system of performance evaluation, so that if you want increases in your pay, then it shouldn’t be that the increases are only pegged to inflation. The increases should also be pegged to what you have achieved in your job, based upon targets set,” he stated.

Members of Parliament in Gordon House, in Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

Holness explained that the accountability system will focus on the entire public service, noting that all these inputs are important for spurring growth in the country.

“The compensation review is not only about pay. We went with the pay element first, because it was important to show a commitment to workers and to show workers that we understand the challenges that they face,” he indicated.

The Prime Minister advised that the pay element “is not yet totally resolved”, citing existing anomalies.

Consequently, he informed that “we have established within the Ministry of Finance and the Transformation Implementation Unit an entire procedure to treat with the anomalies that exist, and those anomalies will be resolved”.

Diagram showing the new and old salaries of members of the Jamaican Government.

The Government recently faced heavy backlash from the public because, in some instances, members of the political directorate would receive a more than 200 per cent salary increase under the new public sector compensation review.

Holness, amid the uproar, said he would not accept the new salary increase. Additionally, he vowed to introduce long-awaited accountability measures for Government officials to ensure they are working diligently.

“We are now going to be moving into the other phase of the review and that is the establishment of a transparent, efficient and effective system of performance evaluation and management and an accountability framework,” Holness said.

Labour Day 2023 was being observed islandwide under the theme ‘Plant a Tree for Life – Promoting Climate Change Mitigation, Food Security and Road Safety’.


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