JAMAICA CONFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
COUTRY REPORT (JAMAICA)
A2- 5829- INTERNATIONAL LABOUR STANDARDS AND WORKERS’
Held Barbados, August 23 –27, 1999
GEOGRAPH AND POPULATION - JAMAICA
Jamaica,1 the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea, is located 898 kilometers
southeast of Miami, Florida, 144.8 kilometers south of Cuba and 160.9 kilometers
southwest of Haiti. The island has an area of 11,420 square kilometers. Jamaica is
part of the Greater Antilles chain, of which the other islands major islands are Cuba,
Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
According the ESSJ (1998), the population of Jamaica at the end of 1998 was
estimated at approximately 2,576,200. 2 Jamaica is classified at the intermediate
stage in its transition of low birth and death rates. The rate of natural increase was
16.9 per cent while the actual population growth was 0.9 per cent highlighting the
effects of international migration. Of special note is the fact that the growth rate of
0.9 per cent exceeds the rate of 0.8 percent which was established for containing the
population within 3.0 million by the year 2020. Contributing to this excess is the fact
that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) at 2.8 children per women on average (Jamaica
Reproductive Health Survey [JHRS] 1997, NFPB) has been above the 2.4 percent
projected figure. The dynamics of population size, growth, structure and distribution
provide the foundation for the foundation for the development of all policies plans
and programmes in all areas of national life.
From 1993 to 1997, Jamaica‟s population grew at a compound annual rate of
approximately 1.1%. At December 31, 1997, Jamaica‟s population was estimated at
2,553,400. The last official census taken in 1991 indicated that 50.4% of Jamaica‟s
population lives in rural areas while 49.6% lives in urban areas. Jamaica‟s official
language is English; however, the majority of the population also speaks Patois, a
Population Growth determined by the interplay of births, deaths and migration
resulted in a growth rate of approximately 0.9 percent. A growth rate of
approximately 1.0 percent has been evident over the present decade and moved the
population to an estimated 2,576,270. Births are the main increments of growths
accounting for an addition of 43,282 of the population. The number of live births was
approximately 59,249, which equates to a Crude Birth Rate (CBR) of 23.1 per 1000
population. 1875 returning residents and 2,161 deportees mainly from the USA and
the United Kingdom, and 2,659 foreign nationals to whom work permits were granted
contributed other increments. Deaths of 15, 967 (or a Crude Death Rate of 6 per
1000 deaths) and net emigration of 20, 100 were the main decrements. (ESSJ 1998)
Source - Ministry of Finance and Planning (Jamaica), Wed site
Source - Economic and Social Survey Jamaica - 1998, ( Planning Institution of Jamaica (PIOJ) Publication)
SOCIAL INFASTRUCTURE 3
Two aspect of Jamaica‟s social infrastructure will be examined here –
Education and Health.
Education the report contends has been afforded a high level of
importance in government policies, as evident in the policies and
programmes being implemented in the education and training sectors. Of
particular importance for the State at this time, the ESSJ reports, was
placed on literacy at the primary level, with a policy declaration that no
child would be allowed promotion beyond Grade Four without being
proficient in reading and comprehension. At the secondary level, the
publication reports, effort were continued to improve quality, equity and
access. Plans have been announced to ensure that students entering
secondary schools in 2002 would have access to at least five years of
high school education.
- 683,868 persons were enrolled in the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels
of the education system, an increase of 3.8 per cent when compared with 1997.
- Enrollment levels for pre-primary level (84.2 percent); primary level – 95.7 per
cent. However, at the secondary level this was relatively low at 63.4 per cent.
- Enrollment at the three campuses of the University of the West Indies (UWI)
increased by 8.6 per cent to 8,215 while, output increased by 13.0 per cent to 2,
128 (71.7 per cent females.
- At the University of Technology (UTech) enrolment was 6,579, a 7.4 per cent
decline, while there was a 5.7 per cent increase in total output to 1,980 persons
(60.6 per cent females).
- Compared with 1997, the number of persons trained in the category
Professional, Senior Officials and Technicians increased by 16.4 per cent to 7,
204, and those trained in the Skilled and Semi-skilled category increased by 4.1
per cent to 12, 832.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) continues to pursue its programme of reform in the
public sector. Central to this the ESSJ (1998) reports, is the provision of a high
quality of service efficiency and cost-effectively through the operationalization of the
four Regional Authorities, managed by Regional Boards. Further the publication
outlines, Health promotion and education were among the main strategies used to
facilitate improvements in the health status of the population and efforts to have a
fully integrated system of health care services (primary care with secondary and
Main Source for this section is the ESSJ (1998) edition, PIOJ Publication.
Performance review showed that while health status gins were made to some areas.
Losses were sustained in others. Staff shortages continued to be seen among
professional groups such as nurses, pharmacists, public health inspectors and
physiotherapists. The health and well being in adolescents, men and the elderly
received priority attention and workshops/seminars, research activities and
programmes were undertaken to identify and address the problems facing these
While data from the Survey of Living Conditions showed steady improvements in
health insurance coverage among population for the period 1989-1997, coverage at
12.6 per cent continued to be low, especially among the poor, children and the
elderly. The Ministry of Health has placed the National Health Insurance plan (NHIP)
on a fast track for implementation and this should provide some redress to the low
insurance coverage overall and for those vulnerable groups.
Asthma, intentional injuries and road accidents continued to be the leading causes of
visits to casualty, accident, and emergency departments in both public and private
- The Doctor/population ratio increased as was 14 per 10,000.
- Crude Birth rate ( relatively unchanged) 23.1 per 1000 population
- Crude Death Rate 6.2 per 1000 population
- Fertility Rate 2.8 children per childbearing female
- Infant Mortality Rate 24.5 per 1000 live births
- Maternal mortality Rate 111.0 per 100,000
- National immunization coverage 85.4 per cent
- Life Expectancy approximately 72.0 years
- 81.2 per cent and 99.5 per cent of the population had access to safe water and
sanitary facilities respectively. (ESSJ 1998).
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
After a period of steady growth from 1985 to 1995, real GDP decreased by 1.8% and
2.4% in 1996 and 1997, respectively. The decrease in GDP in 1996 and 1997 was
largely due to significant problems in the financial sector and, in 1997, a severe
island-wide drought (the worst in 70 years) that drastically reduced agricultural
production. In 1997, nominal GDP was approximately J$220,556.2 million
(US$6,198.9 million based on the average annual exchange rate of the period). Low
levels of import growth marked the economy in 1997, high levels of private capital
inflows and relative stability in the foreign exchange market. Recent economic
performance shows the Jamaican economy is recovering. Agricultural production, an
important engine of growth increased 15.3% in third quarter of 1998 compared to the
corresponding period in 1997, signaling the first positive growth rate in the sector
since January 1997. Bauxite and alumina production increased 5.5% from January to
December 1998 compared to the corresponding period in 1997. January‟s Bauxite
production recorded a 7.1% increase relative to January 1998. Tourism, which is the
largest foreign exchange earner, showed improvement as well. Growth in tourist
arrivals accelerated in the third quarter of 1998 and tourism earnings increased 8.5%
Main Source for this section is the ESSJ (1998) edition, PIOJ Publication.
from January to December 31, 1998 compared to the corresponding period in 1997.
ESSJ (1998) reports those preliminary estimates; Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
measured in constant 1986 prices declined by 0.7 per cent during 1998 to reach $17,
5662 million. In current prices, GDP was $231,778.7 million, an increase of 5.1 per
cent. The fall in real GDP during 1998 represented the third consecutive year of
decline in real output, following on declined of 1.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent, 1996
and 1997 respectively.
Goods producing Sector fell by 2.3 per cent
- Service Sector represented over 76 percent of GDP grew by 0.6 per cent
during 1998. This moderated the overall decline to 0.7 per cent for the year.
The domestic economy was also affected in 1998 by international factors; the most
significant of which were the financial and economic crises in emerging economies and
the fall in major commodity prices.
According to the ESSJ 9 1998), which there some success in achieving price stability
growth performance was again subdued in 1998. Preliminary estimates indicate that
total GDP declined in 1998 by 0.7 percent. This being the third consecutive year of
decline. The ESSJ (1998) reports that output reflected a number of developments in
the domestic economy as well as international economy as well as international
economic developments. These included:
continued adjustments of the economy to the more liberalized domestic
short-term policy adjustment to effect economic stabilization as a platform for
longer-term stability and growth ;
difficulties experienced in the financial sector; and
Adverse supply shocks particularly since 1997.
Reflecting developments in the main export producing sectors, merchandise exports
declined by US$108.7 million or 6.4 percent. Export of both traditional (-11.1
percent) and non-traditional goods (-2.3 percent) declined. In addition to the decline
in volumes dues to reduced domestic outputs, the decline in the price of major export
commodities (such as alumina and coffee), consequent on the Asian crisis and
reduced world demand, adversely affected export earnings. (ESSJ 1998).
The External Economy
Jamaica registered a balance of payments deficit of US$161.3 million in 1997, after
recording four consecutive years of surpluses from 1993 through 1996. The 1997
balance of payments deficit was mainly due to a widening of the merchandise trade
deficit, a narrowing of the services trade surplus that historically has partially offset
the merchandise trade deficit and a substantial decrease in net capital movements.
From January to October 31, 1998, the balance of payments recorded an overall
surplus of US$65.1 million recent account improved 12.7% to a deficit of US$332.8
million in 1998 from a deficit of US$381.6 million in 1997. This improvement was a
result, principally, of an improvement in the merchandise trade deficit and an
increase in the net service surplus. The capital account surplus increased 28.8%
during 1998 compared to 1997, as a result of an increase in net private capital
inflows of 46.1%. By January 31, 1999, net international reserves had recovered to a
level of US$578.0 million from US$553.2 million at January 31, 1998. Since the
repeal of the Exchange Control Act in 1992, the exchange rate in Jamaica has been
determined by market conditions, and no announced trading band or the
Government has set target. The Government conducts its macroeconomic policies in
such a way as to maintain relative stability in the foreign exchange market.
Jamaica maintains diplomatic relations with almost every nation in the world. It is a
member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as the United Nations and
many of its specialized agencies including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and
the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Jamaica is also a member of
various regional and international bodies such as the British Commonwealth, the
Organization of American States (OAS) and the International Seabed Authority (the
headquarters of which are located in Jamaica). The following provides a summary of
various regional, bilateral and multilateral trade agreements in which Jamaica
Lome1 IV Convention - 86 members including 15 nations in the European
Union and 71 developing nations in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Provides
duty-free access to the European market for certain goods, an export earnings
stabilization fund, financial aid and industrial and technological cooperation.
Caribbean Community (Caricom) - Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas,
Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Monteserrat, St.
Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad
and Tobago. To promote the integration of the economies of the member states,
coordinate the foreign policies of the independent member states and engage in
the provision of services such as education, health and transportation among
Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement (Caribcan) - 19 members consisting of
nations in Caribbean and Canada To enhance the Caribbean region‟s existing
trade and export earnings, improve its trade and economic development
prospects, promote new investment opportunities, and encourage enhanced
economic integration and cooperation within the region.
Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) - 25 members consisting of nations in
Caribbean and Central America. To stimulate economic growth and to present
new opportunities for development in the region. Provides duty-free access of
Caribbean products exported to the United States.
Association of Caribbean States (ACS) - 25 members including Caricom and
several Latin American nations To promote regional economic integration and
cooperation in the areas of science and technology, energy, tourism,
transportation, education and culture.5
Source- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
LABOUR/MANAGEMENT RELATIONS 6
There was an increase in the number of disputes reported to total 219; however, there
were fewer work stoppages that declined to 62. Wages and conditions of employment
were the leading cause of both disputes and work stoppages. Although there was not
much progress in securing a national social partnership, a new framework for
cooperation was initiated with „sectoral‟ partnerships in mining and agriculture. The
regulatory framework of the practice of industrial relation is being strengthened and
modernized with proposals to amend the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act
(LRIDA) and the Trade Union Act. In addition, a draft of a new Occupational Health and
Safety Act was prepared to replace the current Factories Act.
The labour force continued on a declining trend to average 1,128,600, resulting from a
net withdrawal of 5,200 persons, since 1997. The programme at restructuring at the level
of the enterprise which resulted in redundancies, presented opportunities for those
persons to create their own employment. The contraction of jobs in formal, paid
employment also forced new entrants to the labour market and others who were
previously unemployed, to seek out self employment activities. There was thus an
increase in own account employment of 15,900. The average number of employed
persons rose to 953,600, indicating a net increase of just under 7,000. The increase in
employment was located in the services-producing sectors where all industries with the
exception of the financing, insurance, real estate and business services, recorded higher
employment levels, resulting in growth of 2.5 per cent in overall employment in these
sectors. In the goods-producing sectors, there was employment loss of approximately
2.0 per cent with the manufacturing sector recording the largest decline in both absolute
and percentage terms. Consistent with the sectoral growth, service workers, shop and
market sales workers registered the pronounced occupational increase, 6.7 per cent.
Employment among professionals also moved up by approximately 4.0 per cent. Given
the changes in the labour force and in employment, both the level and rate of
unemployment were lower in 1998. The average number of unemployed persons was
175,000, corresponding to an unemployment rate of 15.5 per cent. The „job-seeking‟
rate, however, was virtually unchanged at 7.3 per cent.
LABOUR FORCE AND EMPLOYMENT7
- The Labour Force 8 averaged 1.128,600, continuing its trend of contraction
observed over the last three years, resulting in a withdrawal of 5,200 persons
since 1997. This decline has been described; as `gender biased‟ as there was a
net withdrawal of 5,800 females.
- The Female labour force was estimated at 514,200; women continued to account
for approximately 46.0 percent of the total labour force.
Source: Economic and social Survey – Jamaica (1998) prepared by the Planning Institute of Jamaica.( sections of
Chapters 17 and 18. )
Material adopted from the 1998 edition of the Economic and Social Survey, published by the PIOJ
Information for this section is based on the statistics provided by the Statistical Institution of Jamaica ( STATIN)
- The male labour force remained relatively stable averaging 614,400.
- With respect to changes in the age composition of the labour force, there was a
contraction of approximately 10.0 per cent among teenagers aged 14-19 years,
to a level of 77,000.
- The labour force level of older cohorts of the youth group, 20 - 24 years,
members of the prime age labour force 25 - 34 years, remained relatively stable
at 205,000 and 315,100, respectively. However, an increase of 1.1 per cent was
reported for the labour force of the 55 - 64 age group, which had an average
level of 88, 100, while there was additional 3,300 persons in the 65 and over age
- The labour force participation rate for males declined by 0.6 percentage points to
74.0 per cent, females, by 1.2 percentage points to 57.8 per cent.
- Approximately 950,000 persons (84.0) per cent of the labour force) reported that
they were working. The number of labour force participation who had jobs but
were off work for varying reasons such as vacation and sick leave, declined by
4.3 per cent to 9,000, while there was a 3.9 per cent fall to 102,000 in the number
of `seekers‟, that is persons who reported that they were looking for work.
- The average number of employed persons rose by 6,700 to 953,600, despite
redundancies throughout various sectors of the economy, between 1997 and
- The first quarter of the year recorded the highest level of employment at 962,500,
which was a 2.3 per cent increase over the same period in 1997. Lower levels of
employment were observed in the January to April and April to July quarters,
respectively. However, the increase of approximately 9,000 between July and
October was strong enough to offset the fall of the previous two quarters.
- Employment for males and females was higher than in 1997. Of the 6,700 new
jobs created, males accounted for 58.2 percent, while additional 2,800 females
secured jobs. Employment among males averaged 58.0 per cent.
- Contraction of the labour force, and growth in the level of employment resulted in
a decline in the number of persons reported unemployed. An average of 175,000
were unemployed, a fall of just under 12,000 since 1977. The unemployment
rate fell by one percentage point to 15.5 per cent, with the male and female rates
declining to 10.0 per cent and 22.1 per cent, respectively.
- From a gender perspective, the fall in unemployment was more advantageous for
women, a reduction of 8,600 persons, to 113,500; unemployment in males,
declined by 3,400, to 61, 400.
- Among the first time job seekers, 17,400 or 82.0 per cent had not received any
training, but had not been certified, declined to 700 from 1,600. Those persons
certified in vocational training moved up to 2,100.
THE JAMAICA CPNFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
DESCRIPTION OF THE JCTU’S EDUCATION PROGRAMME
It is imperative that an effective worker education programme is maintained and
supported to ensure the continued development of trade unions. The dynamic
social, political and economic environment within the Jamaican trade unionists must
now function demands a great deal of preparedness. Consequently the traditional
roles of trade unions increasingly take on new and interesting dimensions.
An intensive worker education programme ensures the development of leadership
qualities and ensures effective representations for workers. It also fosters a sense of
awareness, regarding the extent to which economic, social and environmental
factors impact on industrial relations. It means then, that all available resources
should be channeled into:
1. Developing strategies, to increase worker awareness
2. Ensuring the pursuit of a worker education agenda that is relevant and dynamic;
3. Equipping the membership for the management of change.
The JCTU Education Department undertakes the responsibility of training and
research in behalf of its member unions. The JCTU understand and accepts the
challenges and seeks to fulfil its mandate, some of which are outlined in the main
objective of the Education Department. These are:
1. The education and training of trade union members in areas and on issues
relevant to industrial and labour relations.
2. The dissemination of information on trade union issues and industrial and labour
3. The development of strategies to provide adequate education and training in
skills and techniques for trade unionists in the areas:
- Industrial Relations
- Social Education
- Economic Awareness
An important feature of the Confederation‟s Education is the collaboration and co-
operation with interest groups, persons and organizations, locally and internationally,
in pursuit of the relevant educational activities and programmes.
Methodology and Training Procedures – JCTU Education Programme
The JCTU places a strong emphasis on those training methods which encourage
participation, performance, active learning, and promote the development of
leadership skills. These are methods, which are generally favoured by adult
learners, since they facilitate full participation in the learning process. The JCTU
recognizes that its education programme must to its adult learners in terms of:
- its relevance and adaptability to current situation, and
- its ability to accommodate varied opinions, experiences and concerns.
The methodology and education activities are supported by mechanisms such as
audio/visual aids. These are selected based on the subject matter, course objectives
and purpose, and other complementing resource material. Other technique and
educational tools form part of the training modalities which include group discussion,
panel discussion, guided discussions, workshops, study circles, case studies, role
play an site visits.
Selection of Participants
The selection of participants for the department‟s courses /workshops is the
responsibility of member unions. A schedule of the year‟s programmes is circulated
to each union at the beginning of each year. The schedule provides information on
courses content and target group. This information is to assist them in selecting
their representatives for each workshop/course.
In addition to these guidelines, selection is recommended for those who are willing
and interested to learn and participate; and dedicated to the trade union movement;
serious about their work, and possess desirable personality traits and good
interpersonal skills which can be further developed in the training process; and able
to demonstrate leadership equalities, to be further developed.
Periodic notices and reminders are sent out at least four weeks before th4e
beginning of each course. Unions are required to submit the names of their
representatives for each course/workshop at least then (10 days before the
commencement of each course/workshop.
Participants are awarded a Certificate of Participation at the completion of each
course. In general, the worker education programme places little emphasis on
examination, grading systems and theoretical notes. It is accepted that emphasis is
to be placed on active and participatory activities.
The Education Department prepares course material for each course/workshop.
Material is comprised of activity sheets with instructions or tasks and exercises to be
performed during the course, information or fact sheets, which serve to reinforce
principles and procedures, as well as general guidelines on various topics. Constant
programme development and upgrading takes place in order to satisfy the growing
and changing needs of worker education.
The JCTU takes its responsibility for worker education seriously. Persons
participating in our courses are encouraged to adopt the same level of discipline and
1. General Basic Course for Delegates – duration - ten (10 ) days.
Objectives - to: inform and educate participants on the role, functions and
responsibilities of a union delegate, develop skills and techniques in
communication, grievance handling and collective bargaining ; provide
information on the main labour laws; provide a forum for the development of
inter-personal and life skills.
Target Groups - Newly elected delegates, all delegates at the shop floor level,
chief delegates not yet trained.
Course Content - Role, functions and responsibilities of the trade union delegate
Communication and union skills; Getting Bargaining Rights; Union Structure,
organization and functions; Grievance Handling/ Conflict Resolution Procedures;
Collective Bargaining and negotiations; Labour Laws; Human relations and Life
skills; Development of collective bargaining in Jamaica; Organizational structure
and communication; International labour and trade union organizations and
agencies / international solidarity; Role of government /public sector in a
liberalized economy/society; Role of the private sector, NGO‟s/ Social Sector;
Role of education /research/information in Collective Bargaining; The Trade
Union and National and Global issues.
2. Environmental / Occupational Health and Safety (E/OHS) Course for
Workers. Duration – ten (10) days
Objectives: to - sensitize participants of the relevant environmental and
occupational safety and health issues in Jamaica; develop strategies for
collective bargaining on E/OHS issues; identify the main sources of information
and resources for E/OHS; identify the main hazards in environmental/
occupational risks facing Jamaican workers; develop strategies and approaches
to manage environmental occupational safety and health matters.
Target Groups – delegates completing General Basic Course Union Safety
officers; Union representatives on safety boards and committees.
Course Content – introduction to safety and health practices; importance of
environmental and occupational safety and health as a trade union issue;
identification of occupational and environmental hazards risks, problems;
solutions and corrective measures; the human body and the workplace;
ergonomics; noise/hearing conservation in industry; toxic substances and
chemicals; principles of ventilation; stress management/mental health; substance
abuse and work occupational safety and health laws; trade union approaches
and strategies in occupational and environmental safety and health issues; role
of collective bargaining in E/OHS; hazardous chemical in industry/agriculture;
waste management in industry; disaster management and safety; industrial
security and safety (of workers/substances/machinery).
3. Women Development. Duration five (5) days
Objectives – to : enhance the status and effectiveness of women at the
workplaces and in the trade union movement; disseminate information on issues
and matters relating to women; address some of the special needs and concerns
of women at the workplaces; provide leadership training and outlet for the
development of self-expression; stimulate women‟s interest in the workplace
issues and encourage discussion on the implications of these issues for the trade
Target groups – women workers representatives, female delegates and chief
delegates, trade union female staff members.
Course content – role of the trade union delegate at the workplace; women and
trade unions; women and the law; women‟s rights; attitudes and women; women
and the workplace; women and development; barriers to women and
development; women‟s health issues; stress management; sexual harassment.
4. Basic Course for Public Sector Employers , duration – five ( 5 ) days
Objectives – to: provide training for delegates and other union representatives
working in the public sector; provide a forum for the examination and analysis of
issues which are of specific interest to public sector workers; improve the
negotiating and communication skills of participants; provide leadership training
for the promotion of personality development.
Course Content – Role and Function and Responsibilities of Worker/Union
Representatives in the Public Sector; Government- Sovereign Power and
Employer; Industrial Action in the Public Sector; National Interest and Essential
Services; Conciliation and Arbitration Procedures in Labour Disputes;
Developments in Industrial Relations on the International Scene; Handling
Grievance/Members Problems and Complaints; Responsibilities and Obligation
of Public Officers; Government - structure, functions and responsibilities;
Influences in Public Sector Bargaining; Methods of Determining Conditions of
Employment in the Public Sector; Job Classification and Evaluation for Public
Sector Workers; Structure and Organization of Government;
Centralization/decentralization of the Decision Making Process; Governing
Bodies Orders and Legislation; Grievance Handling and Disciplinary Procedures;
Procedures for Settling Disputes; Wage Determination and Collective Bargaining;
National Interest and Essential Services.
5. Advanced Training and Special Courses
These are designed for persons completing basic Courses, chief Delegates, and
Union Officers and Staff. Among the topics/areas are: Economics; Global Issues
affecting the Worker; Interpretation of financial statements and spreadsheets;
Computer study; etc.
6. Workplace Seminars – themes: “Information, Awareness and
Development,” and “Safety and Health in the Workplace and Community.”
These are series of seminars, lectures and groups discussions conducted on
work sites of participating firms. The programme which is co-ordinate by the
JCTU Education Department, is designed to disseminate information to workers
and union members on labour and industrial relations matters, as well as issues
of national interest.
Procedures for Organizing Workplace Seminars
Contracts are made with the company or firms, through the JCTU staff, workers,
union officers, or union delegates. The JCTU in consultation with the workplace
contacts, will select seminars topics from the different themes and agree on the
programme and number of seminars for this work site. A schedule of events
and timetable will be developed for each work place. Programmes are custom
made and therefore it will be possible to combine topics under the two themes or
to include additional topics which may be of interest to the different workplaces.
There are periodic programme review and evaluation after each seminar, by the
Department and participants. Alterations and adjustments are made against the
background of these assessments and feedback from all concerned.
Seminar Topics and Themes
Topics under the theme: “Information, Awareness and Development,” include -
Family Planning and Parenting Skills; Money Management Family Welfare;
Employee Benefit Schemes and ESOPs Options; Role of the Trade Union
Movement in Nation Building; Labour – Management Relations; Labour Laws;
and Disaster Preparedness.
Topics under the theme: “Safety and Health in the Workplace and Community”
include –Basic and Advance First Aid; Drug -Abuse Awareness; STD/HIV/AIDS
Prevention and Control; Hypertension and Diabetes; Workplace Hazards and
Solutions; Accident Prevention and Accident Investigation; and Fire Prevention
Employers will be asked to make a special contribution to this programme, with
particular reference to the following:
1. The granting of time-off for workers to attend the different activities, allowing
a minimum of one hour per session. However, for practical sessions, e.g.
First Aid, a minimum of two hours is required.
2. The granting of permission for the use of the company facilities- e.g. a room
of holding area to be used as seminar/demonstration room.
3. Cover seminar expenses.
7. JCTU Schools Programme and Essay Competition
Each year over 50,000 student‟s graduate from Secondary, High, Technical
schools in Jamaica. The vast majority are absorbed into the workforce or
become job seekers, and the rest enter tertiary institutions in preparation for
The transition from the school environment to the working environment can be
traumatic if students are not adequately prepared for assuming the role of the
worker, and coping with the attending challenges and responsibilities of the
The JCTU has identified the need to fill this gap between school and work, and
has embarked on the Schools Programme with the view to assist in preparing
students for moving into the world of work. This programme was conceived
therefore as part of the JCTU ‟s Education and Community Awareness
Programme. It is an extension of the Confederation initiative in worker education
for education for students of school-leaving age in the secondary, high, technical
schools and tertiary institutions.
Annually, a series of seminars/workshops intended for students at the Secondary
and High Schools through the islands. These are held at a central location, to
accommodate students from schools in the surrounding areas. Of particular
focus are students preparing for CXC Principles of Business, History, General
The Essay Competition is designed to :
- Sensitize participants about - the history and development of the trade
union movement in social and economic development; the work place
realities and the role and responsibilities of the workers‟ organizations in
awakening consciousness and in stimulating social, economic and
- Assist in preparing participants in assuming their civic responsibilities as
productive workers in a democratic society.
Lilieth V. Harris,
Executive Director, JCTU
jctu @cwjamaica.com /