THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
STRIKE BY WATER COMMISSION WORKERS ENDS
The strike undertaken by over 2,000 employees of Jamaica’s National Water Commission (NWC) was ended by an agreement reached between the water agency and the five unions that represented the workers on strike. According to Karl Samuda, the back-to-work agreement came after 16 hours of negotiations. The workers are demanding that the government act on reclassification that dates from 2008 and the fact that they were not included in the review of public sector compensation. A compensation review will be performed and implemented within a six-month period under the signed agreement. Other key items in the agreement include, in addition to a return to work right away by the NWC personnel, the procurement of a consultant to conclude job evaluation utilizing the new public sector job evaluation tool to bring their compensation in line with the new public sector compensation structure, the inclusion of a steering committee that involves the five unions in local communication and consultation, and a report from the Finance and Public Service Ministry on the market survey conducted by private sector firms made available by May 20,2022.
JAMAICAN-BORN NICK PERRY SWORN IN AS NEW U.S. AMBASSADOR TO JAMAICA
Nick Perry, a former New York State Assembly member who was born and raised in St. Andrew, has been sworn in as the new United States Ambassador to Jamaica. He was nominated for the posting by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York who called Perry’s appointment “an important milestone.” Perry is a graduate of Kingston College and worked at the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union prior to his immigration to the US in 1971. After serving in the US Army, he earned a BA in political science and an MA in public policy from Brooklyn College, City University of New York. First elected to the state legislature in 1992, he was reelected to represent his district 15 times. His granddaughter is the recording artist Justine Skye.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
PRIME MINISTER OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS FIRES GOVERNMENT MINISTERS
The Parliament of St. Kitts and Nevis was dissolved as the nation’s Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris fired the government’s ministers. Harris asked Governor General Samuel Seaton to dissolve Parliament immediately after he announced the firing of Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards and Nevis Premier Mark Brantley, among others. Harris was due to face a motion of no confidence from six members of the National Unity government, a coalition government, and said he planned to announce a date for a general election soon. The coalition government was reelected in 2020 and included the People’s Labor Party and the People’s Action Movement, both led by Harris, and the Concerned Citizens Movement, which was led by Brantley.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
MORE JAMAICANS IN DIASPORA APPLY FOR JAMAICAN CITIZENSHIP
As Jamaica celebrates its 60th year of independence, there has been an increase in the number of Jamaicans in the Diaspora making applications for Jamaican citizenship. The increase was noted by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who reported that Jamaica’s consulates have seen an increase in first-time applicants and of those many are second-generation and third-generation Jamaicans. Holness said he has received complaints from Jamaicans that it was taking too long to for them to receive passports, and the complaints from those who have recently applied for Jamaican citizenship. This suggests that Brand Jamaica has significant value beyond the island, Holness said, and the estimate three million people in the Diaspora have taken note. Holness again called on the Diaspora to join together to help the island nation reach its full potential.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD RAISES INTEREST OF ARABIAN TRAVEL MARKET
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) hosted numerous top tour operators, travel agents, industry stakeholders, and aviation partners at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai. Members of the media also visited the JTB at the market to discuss new opportunities for collaboration and expanding partnerships to raise the reputation of Jamaica as a destination of choice for travelers from the Middle East. The delegation from Jamaica, headed by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and including Donovan White, director of tourism at the JTB and other Jamaican representatives of the tourism industry, met with key stakeholders and new, potential partners in Dubai to find ways to promote Jamaica in the Middle Eastern market. White noted that the Jamaican delegation received a “warm welcome” from those attending the ATM and their interest in Jamaica.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN RECORDING ARTIST SHAGGY RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE FROM BROWN UNIVERSITY
The dancehall artist known professionally as Shaggy – real name Orville Burrell – is among the nine candidates slated to receive honorary degrees from Brown University, a private Ivy League research institution in Providence, Rhode Island. The Grammy Award winner will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the University’s Commencement and Reunion Weekend, which will run from May 27 to 29, 2022. One of the highlights of the ceremony will be an honorary degree speech for the Class of 2020 that will be given by Shaggy, who formerly served in the United States Marine Corps. Shaggy’s presentation will join an address by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and an address by Dr, Seth Berkley, the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Brown has presented honorary degrees since 1769 to recognize and celebrate the achievements of leaders from many backgrounds.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JAMAICA ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION SUGGESTS THOMPSON-HERAH’S 100-METER TIME SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS WORLD RECORD
America’s Florence Griffith-Joyner is the current record-holder in the 100-meter event, running the distance in 10.49 seconds in 1988 at the US Olympic Trials. Her performance raised questions in regard to the wind reading at the time of the race, however. Now the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Garth Goyle, has suggested that the wind-legal time in the 100 meters achieved by Elaine Thomson-Herah should receive the designation of the world record at that distance. He added that the organization is ready to lobby on behalf of Thompson-Herah, despite the opinion of the president of World Athletics that legal challenges could apply and that changing records without a “burden of proof” is difficult. Thompson-Herah won three gold medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and broker the Olympic record.