Sunday 15 December, 2019

‘Get on with it’, urges IMF of public sector wage talks

In this file photo, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Mission Team to Jamaica, Dr Uma Ramakrishnan, addresses journalists during the 13th IMF quarterly review media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister last year. Also pictured is Finance Minister, Audley Shaw.

In this file photo, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Mission Team to Jamaica, Dr Uma Ramakrishnan, addresses journalists during the 13th IMF quarterly review media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister last year. Also pictured is Finance Minister, Audley Shaw.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has renewed its concern about the slow pace of public sector wage talks locally.

At the end of a four-day visit to Jamaica on Friday, an IMF team issued a statement warning that continued delay in the public sector wage negotiations posed significant budgetary risks for Jamaica.

Indeed, both the IMF and Jamaican authorities concurred on the urgent need to speed up the negotiations.

The wage talks got stalled after several public sector groups, including nurses, teachers and the police rejected the six per cent wage increase over two years that is presently on the table from the Government.

The negotiations were scheduled to last week with the nurses and the police, but were postponed until Monday.

Amid the concern about the pace of the wage negotiations, the IMF team repeated that wage containment is critical to allow for the release of resources for much-needed social and growth-centred spending.

The team also pointed to the need to reduce the public sector while making it more efficient.

 

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