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PM recommits to paying public servants salary increase owed

PM recommits to paying public servants salary increase owed

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Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said yesterday he is committed to paying the three per cent salary owed to public servants since January 2011.{{more}}

“When I tell people I will pay it, I will pay it. But please just let me catch my hand, nuh,” he told a media briefing.

Gonsalves has said that his government will pay the salary increase when the economy allows.

He said his administration had done well for the public servants over the years and that he was not looking to take care of himself.

He denied giving himself a $6,000 salary increase, as alleged by Ivan O’Neal, leader of the Green Party.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, said he told members of the Public Service Union (PSU) in a meeting in July that he had asked the staff at the Ministry of Finance to review the numbers, so he could have given public servants at least one or 1.5 per cent increase, but those figures were too high.

The prime minister said he told the meeting, including representatives from other trade unions, that he would talk to them later and that it did not look likely that he would be able to do it soon.

“But I am committed to paying it and will pay it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cools Vanloo, president of the PSU, has threatened to take industrial action across the public sector if the government fails to pay the three per cent by December.

Vanloo said the proposed industrial action would depend on what the prime minister says following a meeting later this year.

The PSU president also explained that the membership had proposed to Gonsalves that they would be willing to accept 1.5 per cent, which he said amounted to $4 million, but that Gonsalves had turned that offer down. (DD)

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