Govt. to create nearly 4,000 permanent sanitation jobs in Jamaica

KINGSTON, JAMAICA — The government of Jamaica is gearing up to introduce nearly 4,000 permanent positions for government workers in the country’s waste management industry within the next three years.

This was revealed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke, who said the issue has been long overdue.

“Time come for permanent employment,” the minister said to thunders of applause from his fellow government officials during his contribution to the 2024/2045 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.

jobs in Jamaica

"Time come for permanent employment." (Photo by Igor Vetushko on Deposit Photos)

Clarke said, “I am pleased to update this house that, with respect to the National Solid Waste Management Authority and its four regional companies, the Cabinet has given the approval for 3,813 new posts to be created.”

He specified that this is not only for the National Solid Waste Management Authority but also the MPM Waste Management, SPM Waste Management and WPM Waste Management.

“At the moment, there are only 269 posts; everybody else is on contract,” Clarke noted.

“Sanitation workers, truck drivers, route supervisors, enforcement officers, mechanics, all of the working people in NSWMA and its subsidiaries for the past 30 years approximately were actors, as the minister is saying, on contract.

“Under this government, the permanent post has been created and, in the upcoming fiscal year, we will make workers in the NSWMA and their subsidiaries permanent.”

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    Better quality of waste management jobs in Jamaica

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    This has been a long-term issue. (Photo by Hank on Pexels)

    According to Minister Clarke, government sanitation workers have been struggling to access permanent employment and its accompanying benefits for decades before the current Holness-led administration was voted into power.

    “This is a problem that has been around for 20 years or longer, maybe 30 years, where people are employed temporarily, have no security of tenure, can’t get a mortgage, can’t live normal lives and don't have pension on their retirement,” he said.

    Clarke added: “In last year’s budget presentation, I spent a considerable amount of time speaking about the need to transition from contract employment to permanent employment…

    “The policy position of this government is that we are determined, over a three-year period, to address this problem.

    “The process, though, of addressing the problem is challenging and long. There’s a lot of paperwork that has to be done.”

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