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NDP committed to salary increases for public servants

NDP committed to salary increases for public servants


A New Democratic Party (NDP) government is committed to going ahead with the salary increases announced for the public service by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

“If a government settles a salary issue with the public service…why should I oppose it?”{{more}}

Speaking on the ‘New Times’ programme on Monday, Leader of the Opposition and President of the NDP Arnhim Eustace said an incoming government cannot stop a settlement that has been arrived at by a previous government.

“… why would I want to stop that, I have no interest in that. If a settlement has been arrived at. We are committed to go ahead with the settlement.

“So it’s not a question of Eustace not agreeing, a government duly elected has made a settlement and because we may come a couple weeks later, we can’t just stop the settlement that has been arrived at,” Eustace stated.

Saying that he is “appalled” that people have been saying that he will stop the settlement, Eustace reminded listeners that he was once the president of the Public Service Union (PSU) and fully understands the plight of public servants.

He, however, noted that when Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement of the salary increase on Independence Day, he thought that an agreement had been reached with the PSU.

“I was under the impression listening to the Prime Minister on Independence Day …that he had come to the agreement with the public servants when I heard him announce the 2.5 per cent and the 1.5 per cent for 2015 and 2016.

“To my surprise the day after the Prime Minister’s address, I understand the public service had submitted a new proposal the day before Independence, which has not yet been addressed. So, what I thought was an agreement was not an agreement.”

On Independence Day Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, during his annual Independence address, announced at the Victoria Park that public servants would receive a 2.5 per cent tax-free wage increase, retroactive to January, 2015, which would be paid on December 18 and a further 1.5 per cent enhancement in 2016.

This announcement came after president of the Public Service Union Elroy Boucher at a press conference stated that the Government had offered public servants a 4.5 percent wage increase over two years.(CM)