Jamaica

Jamaica: More Than 10,000 Public-Sector Contract Workers Get Permanent Posts

More than 10,000 permanent posts have been created as part of the Government’s commitment to addressing the issue of contract employment in the public service.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, in an address at the Jamaica Civil Service Association’s 105th annual general meeting at Jacisera Park in St. Andrew recently.

He said that the workers are drawn from various agencies within the government service.

“We have over 8,000 persons in the Ministry of Education [and Youth] alone, including cooks in secondary schools and early-childhood practitioners. We have 1,000 civilian members of the Jamaica Police Federation (JPF) who have already been transitioned,” the Minister further indicated.

Dr. Clarke said more than 2,500 members of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) have transitioned to permanent employment as will hundreds of contract workers at municipal authorities who “we are in the process of transitioning”.

“We are not just talking about it. We can be proud of the fact that we are finally transitioning contract workers who, in every other sense, have permanent employment, but… have short-term contracts. This has been a problem that has been in Jamaica for decades. We, as responsible stewards, are going to solve the problem,” he said.

Dr. Clarke said the aim of the exercise is to have the best public service in the world.

“For Jamaica to achieve what is our collective vision, we can only do so with a great public service; and we know that we have the greatest public service in the region, right here in Jamaica. What we want to do is to go beyond that, because we don’t benchmark ourselves regionally… we benchmark ourselves globally. So, we want to have the best public service in the world,” he underscored.

Dr. Clarke said, in this regard, “We have to make sure that we pay attention to the conditions of work and to the compensation arrangements of persons who work in the public service.”

“We have been through a period where we have made some of the most momentous changes in public-sector conditions of work compensation that have ever been made in Jamaica’s history,” he noted.

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