Call to consider reasonable wage demands

Government is being urged not to dismiss any appeals for salary increases at this time.

The appeal came from Dr Terry Harris, an assistant professor in accounting at the Durham University in England, as he delivered the weekly Astor B. Watts Lunchtime Lecture yesterday at the Democratic Labour Party headquarters in George Street, Belleville, St Michael.

“You shouldn’t just dismiss the demand for the increase in wages. I take the point that wage increases should be accompanied by productivity gains but productivity gains are not just a function of workers’ work ethic. They are also a function of other factors such as education levels, the capital that workers are working with, technology and so on.

“So all efforts in terms of policymaking should be directed at improving those areas so that we can respond to reasonable wage demands,” he said in a presentation on inflation and the cost of living crisis.

“Some individuals may ask for increases that are not reasonable and those cannot be responded to, and not every wage demand should be taken seriously. However, reasonable wage demands need to be considered. (SB)

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