Decent work is the foundation for a just and sustainable society

In a recent article in a major daily newspaper in Jamaica, O’Neil Grant, president of PSI affiliate, the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) painted a picture that has many duplicates across the Caribbean. Precarious work is becoming more of a norm than an exception in all sectors of work.

In the public services sector, it is creating a multi-tiered service and inequalities among workers, contributing to low productivity and low morale. Ultimately, this practice affects the delivery of public services to people in the society who all depend on these services. This has a negative impact especially for a country that is seeking to create a just and sustainable society.

“The public sector is now a major practitioner of precarious employment, with its increased use of contracts to engage workers.”

This lends itself to unfair treatment of workers. Take the case of three of our members from the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency. They performed well based on their evaluation and met their targets, but their contracts were not renewed. No reason was given, save that there is a clause in the contract that allows it. These are career civil servants who have had their tenures curtailed by an unfair and unjust precarious work practice that uses contracts (as) a weapon of intimidation rather than a tool for productivity.”

Read O’Neil Grant’s article in full.