Sunday, April 21, 2024

No salary increase for civil servants


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The executive councils of the island’s two main trade unions will have to meet and decide the next step after receiving correspondence that there will be no negotiations on salary increases for civil servants.

The letter from the Ministry of Civil Service, signed by permanent secretary Alyson Forte informed the unions “the prevailing economic conditions do not permit a general increase in the emoluments for public servants including one-off payments”.

The letter further stated “the Minister has directed that negotiations with the Unions should focus on non-salary items”.

The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) was told the request for a 15 per cent salary increase could not be approved at this time.

BWU general secretary Toni Moore said she was not surprised by the content of the letter nor the manner in which it was communicated since the accustomed social dialogue from the 1990s was no longer being observed.

Moore said the executive would meet next week to discuss options as put forward by its members.

She said Government had promised to review the first quarter performance of the increased National Social Responsibility Levy and bring it to the Social Partnership for discussion. And although this discussion had not taken place, they were being told there would be no salary increase even after Cabinet restored its ten per cent salary cut without consideration of an income tax refund.

Moore said there was “less then adequate progress in approving appointments”, the only other item they had scheduled for the 2016 to 2018 round of discussions.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Public Workers will also have to decide its next move. They had demanded a 23 per cent salary increase and a one-off coping mechanism for public workers given the increase in taxes and declining disposable income.

General secretary Roslyn Smith told another section of the media they would discuss the matter internally, but would not close the door on the other benefits which might be put on the table for public servants.

Civil servants have not had a salary increase for almost ten years. (SAT)


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