Jamaica News: The Government will be conducting a review of public sector compensation with the aim of simplifying and streamlining the process.
This was announced by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Hon. Nigel Clarke, who said it is intended to make the process more transparent and equitable, while addressing imbalances and inequities over time.
“The structure of public sector compensation is overly complicated with over 325 separate grades and it is non-transparent with over 175 allowance types that breed inequities in Ministries, Departments and Agencies and across the public sector,” he said.
Dr. Clarke was opening the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, on Thursday (March 7).
The Minister said the Government intends to work closely with its partners in the unions on this review and to complete it before the start of negotiations for the next bargaining period.
In the meantime, Dr. Clarke said the Government is pleased that unions representing over 96 per cent of public sector employees have signed a four-year wage deal for the period 2017 to 2021.
“I thank the various unions and their members for their professionalism in the negotiation process,” he said.
The Minister noted that the public sector wage bill represents the single largest allocation in the budget, outside of debt service, therefore the management of the growth of the total size of the wage bill is of strategic importance and has an impact on every single Jamaican.
“Public sector transformation for that reason, among others, like efficiency and service delivery, therefore remains an ongoing reform,” he said.
To this end, Dr. Clarke informed that the rationalisation of public bodies has been accelerated and a number of mergers, privatisations, reintegrations and related actions have been announced and are being carried out.
“We intend to complete the implementation of shared corporate services in human resource management in this financial year and begin shared corporate services implementation with respect to audit and public relations in the upcoming financial year,” he said.
He added that the Government will be making greater use of technology to bring greater efficiency to public service delivery and to control costs.
Dr. Clarke noted as well that for the first time, Jamaica is projected to meet the wage to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target of nine per cent for financial 2018/19 and for the upcoming financial year, under the Government’s fiscal responsibility law.
Source: JIS News