Wait continues for job cut numbers

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday July 30, 2010 – Jamaicans will have to wait a few more months to get a clearer picture of the job cuts that will be part of overall public sector transformation in the country.

The Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU) says it hopes to have a clearer picture of the extent to which the civil service will be transformed, and the resulting savings that will accrue to the government, by October.

The head of the unit, Patricia Sinclair-McCalla, said Wednesday that the PSTU’s financial specialist and organisational officers are currently “crunching the numbers” to work out the details of the undertaking.

A recently completed census shows that there are approximately 113,000 persons employed in the public sector, but those numbers will be reduced as part of the plan.

“We are not just looking at how many will transition out of the public sector. We are looking at a number of other issues,” Sinclair-McCalla explained.

“We will be looking at the cost of pensions; the cost of accumulated leave; the cost of the implication for shared corporate services and what will be the fallout in terms of consolidation of back office operations; (and how it) will impact on the numbers within the public sector,” she added, noting that that information would not be ready for another two to three months.

The PSTU head has stressed the need for people to shift their focus from the number of jobs to be lost in the public sector transformation process, to how best the sector’s productivity can be optimised and maximised.

Meantime, Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Daryl Vaz, has indicated that parliamentary debate on the matter is expected to commence during the next session of the House of Representatives, which starts in early September, following the August summer recess.