The United Progressive Party (UPP) is calling on the Gaston Browne Administration to initiate several measures aimed at “easing the squeeze” – including the immediate payment of public servants’ back-pay and decent salary increases.
Political Leader Harold Lovell says that, since 2018, Government employees have been crying out for the increases and back pack that are rightfully due them.
Accordingly, Lovell is challenging Browne to match the 10% plus 7% minimum increases given by the UPP Administration and condemning what he terms “the paltry offer of a total of 7% offered by the Government to public servants.”
He notes that this represents a mere 2% on the interim increase of 5% that was granted in 2018.
Again, Lovell points out that the Browne Government has collected more taxes than any previous administration; and, yet, it has failed to meet many of its financial obligations to workers and creditors.
If the proposed increase were to be agreed upon, there are public servants who will not get as much as an extra $100 per month, Lovell states.
In fact, he says, at an additional 4%, a junior clerk would get about $60 more per month on his salary. Meanwhile, a permanent secretary – who occupies the highest administrative position in the public service – would earn only an additional $329 per month.
The Political Leader says public servants deserve better, and he is urging the Government to make the unions a realistic offer that can be seriously discussed.
Given the impact of inflation and the decline in their standards of living and quality of life, Lovell says the salary increase on offer to public servants “is certainly not enough.”
And since the salary increase has been delayed by a protracted negotiating process, according to PM Browne, then the Government should immediately honour the outstanding back pay – which is not dependent on the negotiating process – Lovell says.
Meanwhile, the Political Leader says the Browne Administration should immediately seek to pay vendors and service providers at least 50% of what is owed to them.
Additionally, Lovell is calling for an immediate payment of at least 25% of the severance owed to former LIAT and Caribbean Airport Service (CAS) employees.
He says these workers continue to suffer with no apparent relief in sight. Therefore, the 25% advance payment should be a gesture of goodwill and good faith on the part of the Government.