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PM makes good on promise to Public Servants

PM makes good on promise to Public Servants

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Public servants in this country should receive the additional 2 percent of the total 5 percent wage increase when they collect their pay packets on December 20.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement at a political meeting at Belmont on Tuesday, November 23.

“Earlier this year when I was supposed to pay you five percent, I asked you to take three and hold on and when I catch my hand a little bit, I will give you the other two percent,” Gonsalves said.

He added: “Well, in your December pay packet, you will get back dated from January the two percent.

“You know when Comrade is silent on certain things and when anybody ask me I tell you simply when I catch my hand.

“And I giving you the two percent not just for December you know, when you go on the twentieth you getting it from January,” the Prime Minister announced.

The public sector had been anticipating the payment following announcements made by Gonsalves earlier this year that the country’s fiscal situation was not favourable to facilitate the additional amount.

At a press conference in June, Gonsalves said then that the fiscal situation did not allow for the payment of the 2 percent increase as was promised to civil servants at the end of June.

During that press conference, the Prime Minister said that “if it turns out by September I can do it, then I will do it.”

President of the Public Service Union (PSU) Cools Vanloo, when contacted by SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday to comment on the announcement, said that it was the government who legislated the 5 percent and that it was due to civil servants.

“The two percent is due whether NDP, ULP, Green Party – it is due to the public servants,” Vanloo told SEARCHLIGHT.

“That is not conditional on anything,” he contended.

He added that he did not know why the Prime Minister was making it a political platform issue.

“Our Union does not negotiate salaries and salary increases with political parties. We deal with governments,” Vanloo said in response to the Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace’s promise to settle the matter should his party form the next government.

“And although we welcome the gesture by the Opposition Leader, that represents an outstanding obligation by any government as far as we are concerned.

“Regardless of political party, we will ask where is our outstanding two percent,” the PSU president said.

“Government is obligated to pay what it has legislated, full stop,” said Vanloo.

He further stated that the Government promised to pay several times in the year and it has not been paid.