The Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE) is requesting that the Government of Jamaica put the upcoming merger of three State-run educational entities on hold.
On Wednesday, the government confirmed that HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica Foundation of Life Long Learning (JFLL) and National Youth Service (NYS) will be merged.
Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid said the aim is to create efficiency and reduce operational costs.
However, UCASE, which represents HEART Trust/NTA workers, has said the merger will only create unemployment.
UCASE President Vincent Morrison said that there is no synergy among the agencies and the merger will not achieve efficiency.
“The merger, as I see it, is really a betrayal of the workers in the public service, who sacrificed for seven years without any wage increase and what they are now being told is, having sacrificed, they are about to lose their jobs. It is wrong…,” he argued.
“It can’t be that they are going to save money. It can’t be that they are going to get more productivity out of the merge because they (the schools) are basically three separate organisations with three separate tasks,” he said, adding that the union will be writing to the government about the matter.
Meanwhile, Mr. Morrison is suggesting that the government instead focus on expanding the role of the Jamaica Foundation for Life Long Learning.
“What we should be doing at this time is pushing, in an independent way, JFLL because there are so many students, young Jamaicans within the school system – ages 15, 16, 17 – who can’t read and write.
“Alternatively, what we should be doing is (a) sort of separation. Those who can’t manage the academics, those who won’t become doctors and lawyers, we should be finding some trade, some career pattern for those workers,” the UCASE president suggested.
LBC NEWS ANALYSIS.
This is the second time in as many months that Vincent Morrison is alleging that government is about to lay off workers in the public sector. Recently on a local Radio program he alleged that 12000 government employees would be fired if the government moves to rationalized the public sector.
He was challenged on the program by fellow Trade Unions who told him there was nowhere in the public sector for those cuts to happen, essentially agreeing with Prime Minister Andrew Holness that said there will not be any job losses.
Vincent Morrison heads a breakaway Trade Union that broke from the PNP affiliated National Workers Union (NWU). His comments should be taken in that context.