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PSU calls for pensionable status for all non-pensionable posts

PSU calls for pensionable status for all non-pensionable posts

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Public Service Union (PSU) is calling on the Prime Minister to consider making all non-pensionable posts within the public service eligible for pensionable status.{{more}}

In a letter to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, dated November 2, 2015, the PSU general secretary Aubrey Burgin expressed the Union’s gratitude for nursing assistants being allocated the status of pensionable public servants.

Burgin further states: “The PSU is at this juncture requesting that all non-pensionable posts on the permanent establishment be considered for pensionable status.

“Such a decision, if taken, will be greatly appreciated and thus enable them to enjoy a more comfortable retirement.”

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday, PSU president Elroy Boucher explained: “We are hoping that whomever gets into office — whether he [Gonsalves] is re-elected or there is a new Government — that the Government at that time will take it up.”

Boucher also noted that public servants are “finding difficulty” living off of the National Insurance Services (NIS) pension alone.

“All public servants, in my opinion, should be made pensionable. Most of them are, so I don’t think it is going to be any difficulty to add… them to the list.”

Other current non-pensionable posts include ward assistants, community health aid assistants, male attendants, and office attendants — among others.

During his Independence speech on October 27, Prime Minister Gonsalves declared that in his government’s 2016 Budget (to be delivered in January 2016), all nursing assistants will be put on the same footing as registered nurses, in terms of pension.

In November 2009, the PSU – then presided over by Cools Vanloo – issued a letter to the Cabinet Secretary, requesting an address of matters relating to pension and other benefits for nursing assistants.

The letter came after a meeting between the PSU and the permanent secretary and chief nursing officer within the Ministry of Health and the Environment in 2007.

The 2009 letter, which was penned by then general secretary Elroy Boucher, read: “The PSU and indeed the Health Services are fully cognizant of the role and responsibilities to which this category of Health workers have performed in our quest of uplifting the standard of healthcare throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines.” (JSV)