Sunday 23 February, 2020

JPS accepts Privy Council ruling against $4.27 billion tariff claim

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has advised that it respectfully accepts the recent ruling of the United Kingdom Privy Council, which denied the company's appeal against a Jamaican court ruling.

The JPS had sought to recover $4.27 billion that was incurred by the company for salary payments to employees and related taxes, from its customers via a tariff adjustment using the Z-factor provision in its licence. However, the claim was denied all the way up to the UK.

In a statement on the weekend, the JPS said it remains committed to working with all stakeholders relative to its services.

The company pointed to the dispute leading to its claim as having arisen from as far back as 2002 over a salary structure with the unions representing its employees.

The JPS charted the issue through the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT), which ruled in favour of the unions in August 2003, and the Court of Appeal, which upheld the IDT award in 2007, resulting in an agreement with the unions in May 2008 for $2.3 billion in retroactive salaries to be paid to the employees then, along with some former workers.

The following year the company submitted an application to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to recover $4.27 billion that was incurred for salary payments to the employees and related taxes, via a tariff adjustment using the Z-factor provision in its licence.

The JPS said it sought to recover the sum by charging its customers $6.75 per kilowatt hour over a period of two years, which it said would have represented a 0.4 per cent increase on the average residential customer’s bill at the time.

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