25 September 2023

JAMAICA: Review for ‘messy’ pay system

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Jamaica’s Public Service pay system is a mess, with more than 325 separate grades and 175 different types of allowances, the country’s Parliament has been told.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke (pictured) said he would be conducting a review with the aim of simplifying and streamlining the compensation process.

Opening the 2019–20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, Dr Clarke said the Government intended to work closely with unions and aimed to complete the review before the start of negotiations in the next bargaining period.

He said he was pleased that unions representing more than 96 per cent of public sector employees had signed a four-year wage deal for the period 2017–21.

“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,” Dr Clarke said.

“Public sector transformation for that reason, among others, like efficiency and service delivery, therefore remains an ongoing reform.”

He said the rationalisation of public bodies had been accelerated and a number of mergers, privatisations, re-integrations and related actions had been announced and were 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,” Dr Clarke said.

“The Government will be making greater use of technology to bring greater efficiency to Public Service delivery and to control costs.”

Kingston, 12 March 2019

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