History

The JCSA emerged from a scenario which presented itself immediately following the 1st World War. In 1918 there was a meeting of prominent public officers in the island to address concerns regarding poor salaries and unacceptable working conditions. At this meeting it was decided that a select group be entrusted with the responsibility of preparing and taking the petition to the gover...nment. This group included persons from the various departments of central government and was referred to as the Public Officers Memorial Committee. It was this Committee that recommended that an Association be formed. So on May 6th of the following year (1919) the JCSA was formed with full governmental approval. That year the Public Officers Memorial Committee worked alongside the newly formed Association and obtained the salary improvement which the public officers were seeking.
From its inception the JCSA realized that its membership is deserving of more than just a salary and so it saw to the establishment of the Whitley Councils which dealt with grievances. Up to the start of the 1940’s the JCSA, though trying to secure the best working conditions for its membership, faced an uphill task. Women, who interestingly today constitute approximately 65% of the Civil Service, were one of the main concerns of the Association. They were known to encounter harsh victimizations in the service as they were not allowed to occupy any clerical or administrative post regardless of their qualification. They were seen simply as secretaries.
The glass ceiling was soon shattered however as in the mid 50’s three women were allowed to do administrative work. They were termed Administrative Cadets but this did not deter Gloria Knight, Carmen Parris and Pat Levy (now Lady Golding) as they made their mark on history.
Prior to this, the JCSA had already made its mark on the treatment of women; as earlier in the 1950’s the Association had its first female elected officer. At this time women had not yet entered administration in the service. This first female officer Ena Collymore-Woodstock is also named among the first set of female Resident Magistrates in Jamaica. Later the Association selected Mrs. Una Saunders now (Mrs. Samms) as one of its Vice President for 15 years. At the time she occupied the pride of place as the only female on the Executive.
The JCSA then sought means of improving the social lot of Civil Servants. This resulted in the Jamaica Civil Service Mutual Thrift Society formed in 1939. The Thrift Society assisted many of its members with their first home, their first car and even their first trip abroad. Later the Association worked at the acquisition of a parcel of land off Molynes Road which was subsequently used as the site for the sports complex we now know as JACISERA PARK. Prior to the building of JACISERA PARK the JCSA bought residential land. This was enabled by the Jamaica Civil Service Housing Company Ltd. which was established in 1956 with the main aim of assisting members to purchase their own homes. 
This positioned the JCSA as a pioneer in multi-family housing development in the island when it developed the Blue Castle Close in 1970. More than forty five members obtained houses in this venture.
Despite a fire which once razed its offices at 10 Caledonia Avenue in the late summer of 1973, the JCSA has made significant strides. This same site which was bought towards the end of the 1950’s today boasts a modern office structure with the Jamaica Civil Service Mutual Thrift Society, the Jamaica Civil Service Housing Ltd. and the JCSA occupying the ground floor with the offices of the NEPA housed on the other two floors. This building was opened in 1975 but has been refurbished to conform to the ilk of a building more suited to this decade.
 
About JCSA
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