KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government is developing a new policy intended to streamline the complex compensation and allowance system across the public sector.Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, said a policy, philosophy and accompanying strategies will be developed over the next 18 months with the objective to attain a wage bill to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of nine per cent.He told the Government’s Public Sector Transformation Program that the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU) is examining data acquired from ministries, departments and agencies in 2018, and will engage unions representing public-sector workers, among other stakeholders, to discuss options for streamlining and making the compensation structures “more efficient and more transparent”.He said this undertaking “will gather momentum in the upcoming [2019/20] financial year” and that the review is consistent with the fiscal imperative being pursued by the government under the transformation program, which he described as “very important“Without having sustainable fiscal accounts, nothing else can really happen… we can’t shy away from that,” Clarke said, adding that the review will address the multiplicity of grades for positions and allowances across the public sector, which total 325 and 175, respectively.He said the number of grades makes it difficult for the Government to project budgets for salaries and allowances negotiated.Additionally, he noted that “when you have 175 [categories] of allowances with 40 bargaining units, you can’t keep track of the increase in the wage bill… and it also leads to inequities across the system“Another problem is that because the grades are not compatible, it allows for all kinds of arbitrage… between persons being in this Ministry or that [agency] instead of just being [an officer] who has this level of competence. When you have greater transparency about these things, it allows for greater efficiency and satisfaction on the part of the public officer,” Clarke added.In addition to wage bill management, other key areas of government operations being targeted are: public sector efficiency and information and communications technology; shared corporate services; public bodies; and human resource management. Clarke said the vision of the Andrew Holness government “is for a modern public service that is fair, that values people, and that consistently delivers high-quality service”.
ILOPRISAA lawn tennis players John Benedict Santiago, Althea Rose Martirez and John Rafael Santiago. PHOTO COURTESY OF RAFA SANTIAGO CDSA 2 dominated the final day ofgymnastics events while CDSA 3 netted golds from gymnast Cyrus Ponsonos andLincer Sta. Ana./PN In the final medal tally, ILOPRISAAfinished with 113 golds, 57 silvers and 32 bronze medals (81-37-18 gold-silver-bronzein secondary level and 32-20-14 in elementary division). The ISSC Meet formally closed on Thursdayafternoon at the Iloilo Sports Complex. ILOPRISAA swimmer Kyla Soguilon notchedseven gold medals in 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, 50-meterbackstroke, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke, 4X100 Medley relay, and4×100 freestyle relay. ILOPRISAA’s Althea Rose Martirez emergedas the gold medal winner in secondary girls singles lawn tennis while JohnRafael Santiago and John Benedict Santiago got gold and silver in elementarydoubles and secondary doubles, respectively. ILOPRISAA also captured a gold medal insecondary boys 3×3 basketball behind University of San Agustin’s John MichaelVicencio, Agapito Clarito, JM Delos Santos, and Coleen Sayco. They defeatedCDSA 2 in the finals. CDSA 5 notched most of its gold medalsin athletics courtesy of James Bandojo in secondary boys 1,500 meters and 800meters, Ariel Labarosa in secondary boys 3,000-meter steeplechase, RonjayBalsomo in secondary boys long jump, and Juan Baliao in secondary boys 100meters. Congressional District SportsAssociation (CDSA) 5, meanwhile, is at second place with 71-52-56 medal haul,while CDSA 2 is at third spot with 63-60-90, followed by CDSA 3 with 57-64-70 ILOILO City – ILOPRISAA emerged asoverall champion in the Iloilo Schools Sports Council (ISSC) Meet 2019.