Government of Dominica discloses salary negotiation details regarding three public sector bodies

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The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica commenced wage and salary negotiations for the 2009/2012 Triennium in December 2009 with the three Public Sector Representative Bodies, namely; Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Police Welfare Association (PWA) and the Dominica Association of Teacher(DTA)s, in keeping with Part IV of the Public Service Act Chapter 23:01of the Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Dominica.The Government’s proposal to the unions included, inter alia, an offer to pay wage and salary increase of 2% for 2009/2010 and that the outcome of a Human Resource Consultancy and Job Evaluation and Classification Exercise be awaited before continuing salary negotiations in respect of the periods 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.Negotiations for the first year were successfully concluded. Government approved a 3% increase in wages and salaries, increase in allowances as well as otherbenefits as detailed hereunder:Members of the DPSU will receive;One-time contribution of $150,00 towards the union’s Tertiary Education Fund, Increase in all allowances to health care workers ranging from 5% to 25% and introduction of new allowances, Grant of travelling officer status to various offices in the Ministries of Health, Education and National Security, Payment of casual mileage to various officers, One-time contribution of $18, 000 towards the union’s health and wellness programme, Grant of duty–free concessions on purchase of vehicles to Public Officers who are Travelling Officers,Allocation of 30% of the Ministry of Education’s financial assistance budget to Public Officers, including Teachers$2,500 under the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Programme for the unions ECEP. Members of the PWA will receive;One-time contribution of $100,00 towards the Association’s Tertiary Education Fund, Increase in allowances and introduction of new allowances, Allocation of six(6) residential land lots in Hillsborough Gardens, four (4) lots in Bellevue Chopin and ten (10) lots in Union Estate, Grant of duty–free concessions on purchase of vehicles to Police Officers who are Travelling Officers andGrant of $100,000 towards the Association’s Health and Wellness Programme.Members of the DAT will receive;One-time contribution of $120,00 towards the Association’s Tertiary Education Revolving Fund, $20, 000 annually towards teacher training summer workshops, Allocation of 30% of the Ministry of Education’s financial assistance budget to Public Officers, including Teachers, Provision of protective clothing for Technical/Vocational Teachers, Free medical attention for teachers injured on the job at government institutions and at private institutions locally and overseas.Additionally, Government has made funds available to the Government Housing Loan Board under in the amount of $7,498,841.35 to enable certain categories of Public Officers to obtain mortgages with an interest rate of 4%. To date, a total of 49 loans have been disbursed.Inthe 2006/2009 Triennium, Government paid an increase of 6% and also approved the following benefits:To the DPSU;Increase in all allowances to Public Officers, except health professionals, Medical insurance to Customs and Fire Officers, $15,000 towards the union’s health and wellness programme, $82,000 for the purchase of a two-bedroom model house for the establishment of a Day-Care/Nursery, $300,000 towards continuing education programmes for members, Three days paternity leave. To the PWA;Increase in allowances, $200,000 towards the Association’s Education Programme, Three days paternity leave. To the DAT;Payment of a subvention as assistance for the conduct of the Association’s summer programme/workshop, $200,000 towards the Association’s Education Programme, $68,000 for the payment of the outstanding mortgage on the office building owned by the Association, Three days paternity leave to teachers.The Human Resource Consultancy, conducted by the Caribbean Centre for Administration Development (CARICAD)at a cost of EC$540,000was concluded in August 2010, and copies of the seven reports have been provided to the unions, who were integrally involved in all components of the project throughout its duration.Regrettably, there was significant protraction in the commencement of the Job Evaluation Exercise due to various challenges confronted with confirming the financing. Recognising the importance of the exercise, funds under the Medium Term Public Sector Reform Programme totaling approximately EC$400, 000, which had been allocated for other modernization activities in key sectors, were diverted to finance this activity.The consultancy has commenced, and a CARICAD consultant visited from February 15 – 17, 2012 to conduct an assessment of the work undertaken by the Establishment, Personnel and Training Department from May 2010 in reviewing and revising all Job Descriptions in the Public Service in preparation for the exercise. The consultant has expressed great satisfaction with the extent and quality of the work of the Human Resource Management and Development Team and anticipates that the evaluation process will be significantly advanced as a result. The various evaluation committees are being constituted and will include representation from all three unions. Training of the committees will commence shortly, following which the full consultancy team will come in to continue the process.The first Job Evaluation and Classification activity was conducted in the Dominica Public Service in the early 1990’s. Since then, a review has not been undertaken service-wide. Therefore, the findings and recommendations emanating from the exercise are important for effective and sustainable human resource planning and budgeting.Section 25(1)(b)of the Public Service Act makes provision for the renewal of an existing agreement, with or without modification. Accordingly, Government has proposed to the unions that the 2009/2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement be extended to June 30, 2013. It is anticipated that by that date, the Job Evaluation would have been completed and the requisite decisions taken with respect to the recommendations to be implemented. Wage and salary negotiations in respect of the outstanding periods 2010/11 and 2011/2012 would then continue from a more informed position.Discussions on this new proposal are continuing with the unions. Both the Dominica Public Service and the Police Welfare Association were unavailable to meet on Friday March 2, 2012. However, the meeting with the Dominica Association of Teachers progressed satisfactorily and the Government will await further communication from the DAT on its response to the proposal. New dates for the meetings with the DPSU and the PWA will be arranged. Government is confident that the dialogue with the unions will continue in the same harmonious spirit that has prevailed in the past and that the decisions arrived at will be mutually agreeable by all parties in the interest of sustained public sector growth and national development.Government Press Releaselast_img read more