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Trade unions urged to modify wage claims

Monday, September 18, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Trade unions representing public-sector workers have been urged to modify their wage claims, as nothing should be done to derail the economic programme that Jamaica is on.

Making the call, Group Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), and Co-Chairman of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Keith Duncan, said it is important that Jamaica achieve the target of cutting public-sector wages to nine per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“When we are talking about 60 per cent for civil servants, we are a little bit out of the ball park. This is not consistent with the economic programme that we are in,” Duncan said.

He was delivering the main address at The Mico University College Alumni Association (MOSA) Gold Medal Awards, held on Sunday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, in New Kingston.

Duncan said there must be a responsible approach where leaders sit at the negotiation table and “work this through”, because “we have targets within the economic programme that (are) important for the long-term health of the economy”.

On the issue of crime, Duncan said Jamaica must have a unified approach, and he is pleased that under the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO), there is a social-intervention component to make a sustained dent on crime in communities that are in need of help.

“We are happy that ZOSO has this element of social intervention, so that communities can be sustainable… and people can participate and live in comfort and peace in their communities,” he said, while also endorsing the establishment of the Security Programme Oversight Committee (SECURIPOC).

The Mico Gold Medal is bestowed on graduates of the university as a symbol of excellence to service in education, community and public service. It is a biennial honour, which was first awarded in 1992.

Former Mayor of Black River, Jeremy Palmer; Dr Arthur Geddes; Mervis Johnson; Dr Clinton Hutton; and Dr Yvonne Shorter-Brown received the Gold award.

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