BOJ improves executive compensation, struggles with staff retention
The compensation packages for executive management of the Bank of Jamaica were topped up during 2017, amid efforts to retain critical staff.
The central bank's annual report reported that individual executives were compensated within a range of $9.28 million to $19.3 million, which was just over a million dollars higher at either end of the scale, relative to 2016 pay packets. Then, the range was $8.09 million to $18.02 million.
BOJ's executive management comprises the governor, the senior deputy governor and four deputy governors who are officers appointed under fixed-term contracts by the Minister of Finance, as provided for under the Bank of Jamaica Act.
Deputy governors received allowances in the range of $1.1 million to $1.19 million for the year, in addition to their pay. The emoluments were unchanged year-over-year.
The report specifically noted the BOJ's challenge to retain critical skills, which it blamed somewhat on the central bank's "uncompetitiveness in the labour market" - suggesting that the expertise needed for the job is more heavily compensated by the private market.
Last year, the central bank hired 68 persons, while 63 exited the institution.
"The bank has found that the labour market has tightened, especially in the growth areas of the bank's mandate," said Senior Deputy Governor John Robinson. "In addition, staff turnover rates have increased beyond the low rates previously experienced by the bank," he told the Financial Gleaner.
Alongside the BOJ's loss of labour market competitive, Robinson also cited the age distribution of staff and persons retiring as reasons for the increased turnover.
The BOJ said in its annual report that programmes have been implemented "to fill resource gaps and to ensure the bank's operations were not severely disrupted".
Under its GOLD programme - Graduates Opportunity for Learning and Development - which is used as a recruiting tool, 43 persons were selected to participate last year, 36 of which were engaged on fixed-term contracts as fresh talent.
At the end of 2017, the central bank had a staff complement of 585 persons, comprising 445 in permanent positions and 140 on fixed-term contracts.
Asked what increases were paid to general staff, Robinson said there were no adjustments to salary rates last year, but that "performance-based increments were paid to eligible officers," in line with BOJ policy.
He added that salary negotiations for the period April 2017 to March 2019 were still in progress.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the upper range of allownaces for deputy governors, from $1.9 million to $1.19 million.