Jamaican Women's Football Players protest inadequate resources
The protests that took place in Jamaica between March and July 2023 represented a diverse range of social and political issues. Citizens and various groups expressed their grievances and demands through peaceful demonstrations, highlighting the importance of civic engagement in shaping the nation's development.
Protests Against Salary Increase of Political Directorate
One notable protest that occurred during this period was the outcry against the significant increase in salaries for parliamentarians and other members of the political directorate. Citizens expressed their discontent with the salary adjustments, arguing that such increases were unjustifiable given the existing economic challenges faced by many Jamaicans, including teachers and other civil servants whose protests were highlighted in the previous report.
The protests gained momentum as various civic organisations and community groups joined forces to voice their concerns and demand transparency and accountability in the decision-making process regarding salary adjustments. Since the public outcry, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that he would forego his own salary increase.
Jamaican teachers continued their series of protests during this period, led by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA). Dissatisfaction arose at the end of the May 2023 pay cycle as there were significant discrepancies and anomalies in teachers’ salaries. In response, teachers, supported by their union, organised strikes, which disrupted many schools across the island.
Jamaican Women Football Players Advocacy
Jamaican women football players made headlines as they raised their voices via social media against what they perceived as 'subpar' support and inadequate resources provided by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) ahead of the Women's World Cup in July 2023. The major issues highlighted were a lack of funding, training facilities, compensation and overall support for women's football in Jamaica.
🇯🇲🚨Jamaica Women’s national team players issue a statement on their “utmost disappointment with the Jamaica Football Federation.”— SHE scores bangers (@SHEscoresbanger) June 15, 2023
Poor work from the FA has led to missed compensation, friendlies, and concerns around accessibility to proper resources.
World Cup in 34 days. pic.twitter.com/NBcTJMIDXg
National Water Commission (NWC) Employee Strike
Employees of the National Water Commission (NWC) issued a 72-hour strike notice on 8th July 2023, if the government did not address their salary band issues. Five labour unions are representing the employees: Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers (JALGO); Bustamante Industrial Trade Union; the National Workers' Union; the Union of Public and Private Employees; and the NWC Executive Staff Association.
In response, Jamaica’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security has requested an emergency meeting to prevent customer water lock-off. It was also reported that “amid last year’s protests, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he had sought a legal opinion from Attorney General Dr Derrick McKoy on whether the NWC and its workers are classified as essential workers - a categorisation which, according to Part III Subsection (9) (5) of the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act, would forbid them from taking industrial action”.