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Government to hold follow-up Meetings with Unions

Government to hold follow-up Meetings with Unions


AFTER SALARY increases were decided last week at a meeting between two Unions and the Government, further discussions are slotted to be held with the Director General of Finance.

However, the three workers’ groups who declined to attend last Friday’s meeting after they were told to surrender their cellphones — the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU), the Public Service Union (PSU) and the Police Welfare Association (PWA), have not yet been invited to those follow up meetings.

Last Friday, the two unions in attendance at a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to discuss matters affecting workers employed with Central Government were the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers’ Union (CTAWU), and the National Workers’ Union (NWM).

A statement issued following this meeting, signed by the two Unions, and the Prime Minister (on behalf of the Government), notes the outcomes of the meetings.

The matter of salary or wage increases was decided, with the agreement between these parties being that a one per cent retroactive increase will be applied, from July 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Further, an increase of one and a half percent for 2019, and two percent for 2020 was announced. However, on matters of allowances and worker benefits, the joint statement released on Monday, states that there will be further “detailed discussions” on these issues.

“The two unions will submit shortly, memoranda in these respects,” the statement continues.

The Unions’ representatives will meet on these matters with a Government Committee, headed by the Director General of Finance
and Planning, Edmond Jackson.

The Leaders of the SVGTU, the PSU, and the PWA were contacted, and they have all indicated that they have no knowledge of the meeting.

President of the PSU, Elroy Boucher stated, “We were not invited to it, so we don’t know anything about it.”

He further reiterated, “It must be made clear that those two unions cannot negotiate on behalf of either the Teachers’ Union, any of the Public Sector Unions or the Police Welfare Association. They cannot negotiate on our behalf.”

Chairman of the PWA, Sergeant Brenton Smith, said that he knew nothing of the meeting, and Bynoe indicated that it was the first time she was hearing about it. “I am not sure what it is about. We haven’t received any requests or invitations,” she informed.