Trade unionist Helene Davis Whyte says the process to grant the latest increase to the political directorate is akin to an abuse of power.
She says the conversion formula used to calculate the salary for public sector workers under the compensation review is different from that of parliamentarians.
Mrs Davis Whyte said that no other public sector worker was allowed to go beyond a certain point on the salary scale except parliamentarians.
"The decision that was taken is to have that link between the permanent secretary and the Cabinet minister being made at the highest point in the scale for the permanent secretary. So in essence, what that meant is that the Cabinet minister would have converted to the new rate of pay at the maximum of the scale, given that they were pegged to the maximum of the permanent secretary. And despite the various negotiations that were ongoing, there's no other public sector worker, including the permanent secretaries, that were allowed to convert beyond the fourth point in the scale," she explained. 
She said the unions are taking issue with how parliamentarians converted to the new scale, given that all other public sector workers were converted at or below point four on the more than 10-point scale. 
Mrs Davis Whyte said a decision should be made on how parliamentarians are remunerated. 
"The government could have decided to go ahead and implement any one of the various recommendations that have been made over the years, instead of continuing the link between the pay of the permanent secretary and the pay of the Cabinet minister. I think as a country we have to decide how it is that we are going to be doing that. Because if we don't decide, every time parliamentarians are to get an increase in pay, we will always have what exactly has turned out in this particular situation," she warned. 
Mrs Davis Whyte said issues such as performance and accountability must be considered when determining the salaries for parliamentarians.
She added that the same standards governing employment in the public sector should be instituted for parliamentarians. 
"Even just knowing what is the job description of the Member of Parliament, as against the parliamentarian, all of those things need to be known, because we have moved to that point for the public servant, but it’s now to move to that point for the political directorate. And there must be a system of accountability, something as simple as whether or not you turn up for various committee meetings and so on," she suggested, adding that this would allow people to judge whether the parliamentarian is performing adequately or not. 
Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:45

Some teachers on strike over wage issue

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The Minister of Education, Youth, and Information says it has received information that teachers at a number of schools have not turned up for classes, and as result plans are being put in place to address the matter.

The removal of Prime Minister Andrew Holness' compensation from the new salary scale under the public sector compensation review appears to be binding on all future holders of that office. 

Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:31

PM Andrew Holness gets only one salary, says OPM

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness recieves only one salary.

The Financial Investigations Division (FID) was successful in the Supreme Court in securing a forfeiture order of J$119 million and a pecuniary penalty order (J$720,000) against Andrea Gordon, the former senior manager at National Commercial Bank (NCB).

WITH HIS statutory declaration seemingly in limbo for some time now, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is concerned that the document that reveals his income, assets and liabilities is yet to be published by the Integrity Commission.

At least one transportation group has welcomed the new changes announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness which sees the transport portfolio of the Ministry of Transport and Mining being incorporated into the Ministry of Science, Energy and Telecommunications.

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The People's National Party (PNP) is reiterating that, given the disproportionate remuneration awarded to Jamaican politicians compared to their regional counterparts, along with the relative underperformance of the Jamaican economy and the lack of equity in the compensation awarded across the public sector, the announced salaries for ministers and members of parliament (MP) should immediately be withdrawn.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023 11:38

Holness’ salary to remain at $9 million

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that he will not be taking his massive pay hike under the new compensation structure for the political directorate.

Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Marlene Malahoo Forte, has indicated that King Charles III, who she reminded is still the "King of Jamaica", should consider removing the visa requirement for Jamaicans to currently take cases to the United Kingdom Privy Council.

FACED with stinging criticisms over the massive salary increases granted to members of the political directorate, Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday launched a counter-offensive as he fired back at critics.