Statin working to ensure timely payment of census workers

THE Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) has promised to address concerns raised by census workers regarding remuneration, and has instituted measures to ensure that the data collection staff are compensated in a timely manner.

This was revealed by Statin’s Director General Carol Coy as she addressed the institute’s quarterly press briefing on Tuesday.

She noted, however, that the timely payment of workers “must be balanced by the fact that the data collected must be of a standard that will provide credible data for policymakers, planners and the general public”.

Added Coy:”Payment for work done is based on the approval of census questionnaires. This is a two-step process. A critical component of the supervisor’s job function is the review of the questionnaire to ensure the quality of the work undertaken by the census taker. If issues are found, the questionnaire is returned to the census taker for corrections. Once the supervisor is satisfied with the questionnaire, it is submitted to the census office for review and final approval. At this point the questionnaire can be returned if it does not meet the quality criteria for completion,” she said.

In addition, she said census takers are also required to submit the visitation record (VR), which is the listing of all buildings within the enumeration district (ED). This, she said, forms part of the quality check for data collection.

“All census workers were advised of the criteria for payment as per their employment contract. We encourage data collection staff to correct and return rejected questionnaires and submit their VR with all buildings within the ED listed correctly in a timely manner, as this will speed up the payment process,” she said

Coy further noted that census workers with queries are also encouraged to utilise the channels that have been established to address their concerns.

In an article written by Coy, published in this newspaper on March 15, she noted that improvement in administrative processes has reduced the lag between the end of training and payment of the training allowance.

She noted as well that to make the compensation more competitive, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service approved an increase in the compensation payable, including travelling allowance and salary, to census supervisors and census takers.