Magistrates in Jamaica Strike for Better Working Conditions and Remuneration

According to a Caribbeannewsnow release, all of Jamaica’s 44 stayed off the job on Thursday 3rd March, 2011 in a rare protest against working conditions, including security and remuneration.

The strike reportedly kept clerks of court across the island busy rescheduling cases and extending bail for scores of people who had turned up to have their cases dealt with.

The Jamaica Observer reported that “the judges are upset and frustrated that long standing concerns by the justice ministry have not been addressed.”

One magistrate told the Observer on condition of anonymity, “The issues include personal security, which is not provided for resident magistrates, improvements in their compensation package to include higher salaries, faster payment of allowances like travelling and subsistence, some of which are between four and six months in arrears, a greater scope for upward mobility, and recognition of RMs as members of the judiciary, rather than as civil servants.”

 

According to the magistrate, there was no plan to have the sick-out coincide with Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne’s appearance on Thursday at the Commission of Enquiry into the government’s handling of the United States’ extradition request for Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

The magistrate said that the industrial action was originally planned for two days.

 

(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Caribbeannewsnow release)

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