The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) is the latest group to sign a wage agreement with Government. The agreement is for 16 percent increase in salaries over four years. That’s the same as for the other groups that have already signed including the Jamaica Civil Service Association and the Jamaica Teachers’ Association.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke made the announcement, that the sides had reached an agreement, at a signing ceremony today (12 September) at the Ministry of Finance.
“With the signing of this agreement approximately 80% of public sector workers are now covered under a four-year wage agreement. This concludes months of discussions with the Nurses Association of Jamaica which were conducted in an atmosphere of transparency and mutual respect” the Finance Minister said.
According to the Ministry of Finance, among the key points in the agreement are:
- increases in salary and salary-related allowances of 5% in year 1; 2% in year 2; 4% in year 3; and 5% in year 4;
- an increase in the amount for the provision of scholarships at the Masters level from $1M to $1.5M per scholarship and an increase in the amount available for tertiary grants to nurses from $5M to $8M per annum; and
- the provision of four 30-seater buses to the Ministry of Health, to assist with the transportation of nurses who work on late shifts and one 15-seater for the NAJ office to assist generally.
“As a Government, we understand the concerns which include the need for additional staffing, improvements in the working conditions and the provision of adequate equipment for all health facilities. It is our commitment that over time we will address these concerns to ensure the delivery of optimal health care for our citizens,” Dr Clarke said.
The Minister thanked the NAJ for “their leadership, understanding and support as we, together, continue to put Jamaica on the path to economic independence and the achievement of our Vision 2030 goals.”
By Franklin McKnight