Monday, April 22, 2024

Jamaican doctors and teachers accept wage offer

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Kingston, Jamaica – Teachers have accepted the government’s latest wage offer ending industrial action that had led to protest action last week and a resumption of classes on Monday.

In addition, doctors have also voted to accept the offer made by the government.

Last week, Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke announced that J$4.3 billion had been allocated in the budget for this fiscal year to settle wage agreements with some of the major public sector groups, which ends on March 31.

Clarke said the Andrew Holness government has allocated J$10.2 billion for rank-and-file police officers, with an additional one billion for District Constables and J$600 million for members of the Police Officers Association, totalling J$11.8 billion.

The total amount allocated for junior doctors is J$6.4 billion.

“We want the doctors to receive the amounts in March 2023. We want to be in a position for these amounts to leave the Consolidated Fund in March 2023. These amounts alone total J$30 billion, and this size of payment cannot be accommodated in the upcoming fiscal year,” Clarke said.

The sum for teachers is approximately J$12 billion.

On Sunday, the teachers associated with the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) voted to accept the wage offer after they had initially rejected the wage offer under the government’s public sector compensation review programme.

President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association (JMDA), Dr Mindi Fitz-Henley, said 95 per cent of those present on Sunday voted during a special meeting of the JMDA elected to accept the offer.

“The JMDA met with its membership this evening, and the outcome of the vote is that 95 per cent of persons voted to accept the new compensation package from the Ministry of Finance,” Fitz-Henley said, adding that the wage offer will protect and allow future generations of doctors to properly be hired in posts.

“It is important to note that with this offer, we get all of our doctors currently employed in a contract into a post and we also protect the future generation of doctors to come by, ensuring that they also have to be hired into a post,” she added.

On Friday, March 10, Ministry of the Finance and the Public Service sent a new wage offer to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, hours after the leadership of the groups representing the cops denied that they had rejected a proposed pay package from the Government. (CMC)

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