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JCTU to help resolve warders issue

Jamaica Gleaner Online, 14 March 2000

THE JOINT Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) has offered the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) its assistance in the issue of the more than 800 prison warders facing disciplinary charges.

The UAWU had sent the JCTU a copy of a letter written to Governor-General, Sir Howard Cooke, on March 6, suggesting that the Public Services Commission (PSC) had breached the law by paying the warders only 25 per cent of their salaries during their current interdiction.

In response, the Confederation wrote the UAWU on Thursday, stating that it was prepared to assist the UAWU in resolving the matter, and that General Secretary Lloyd Goodleigh was prepared to hold further discussions with the UAWU, to determine what "specific actions" would be required of the Confederation. The Confederation groups nearly all the island's major trade unions, excepting the UAWU.

In its letter to the Governor-General, the UAWU said the quarter pay during the period of interdiction could apply only in cases where the charge involves an allegation of defalcation, fraud or misappropriation of public funds or public property.

The union called on Sir Howard to ensure that the PSC "follow the Law" and pay the warders not less than half pay during the period of interdiction. A copy of the letter was also sent to the Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).