By Denise Dennis
JIS Contributing Writer
KINGSTON, Jamaica July 15 (JIS) — Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Rudyard Spencer, has committed to doing everything, along with the Public Sector Monitoring Committee (PSMC), to advance the cause of Jamaica’s public-sector workers.
Spencer, addressing the inaugural meeting of the newly established Committee, today (July 14), at the Ministry, said the mandate of the group is important to him and noted his intention to ensure the best outcome on all matters.
He said he is expecting the Committee to move with alacrity on a number of matters, particularly as it relates to working conditions of security guards, and the issue of foreigners working as labourers.
Spencer said the PSMC will also be playing a role in monitoring the progress of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Program.
“The Committee is well constituted and we will be moving apace to deal with matters,” he told JIS News.
The PSMC monitors the salaries and working conditions covered by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government and public-sector trade unions. Its core objectives include arriving at acceptable principles and understanding in relation to public-sector wages, employment, productivity enhancement, expenditure restraint, cost-saving measures, macroeconomic management and the development of the public sector.
President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), Helene Davis Whyte, in her remarks at the meeting, said she is expecting an active and successful period by the PSMC, which will serve to add value to the negotiation process and the public sector generally.
Davis Whyte said she also expects that the Committee will play a crucial role in ensuring that the public-sector transformation process include workers in the public sector and that decisions will be taken using a consultative approach.
The PSMC includes representatives of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), representing the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU); the ministries of Finance and the Public Service, Education, Health and Labour and Social Security; the Planning Institute of Jamaican (PIOJ); Office of the Solicitor General; Cabinet Office; the Financial Secretary and Deputy Financial Secretary; and the trade unions representing public-sector workers.