Cabinet guarantees US$200k to Solid Waste contractors and offers a month’s salary to gov’t workers to bridge negotiations

Public-sector workers and private contractors attached to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) are being guaranteed payment before the Christmas holiday, with salaries expected to be disbursed no later than tomorrow, December 16.

During its sitting on Wednesday, December 14, the Executive reportedly reiterated its decision – made on November 30 – to ensure that all wages, salaries, and Government and Social Security pensions are paid in full for the month of December on or before Friday.

Reportedly, some financial institutions have already commenced salary and wage payments for this month.

Meanwhile, this week’s Notes report that the Minister of Health, Sir Molwyn Joseph, proposed that the Cabinet provide the sum of US$200,000 to help the National Solid Waste Management Authority pay down the amounts it owes to truckers and other service providers.  

The proposal reportedly was approved by the Executive; therefore, before the Christmas holidays, these contractors will receive a portion of the monies owed to them.

While the Notes say that this sum will significantly reduce the amount owed to many of the contractors, residents are scoffing.  “How far will US$200k go when some are owed millions?” one person asks.

Another citizen, a member of the Diaspora, is not impressed, either, but attributes the Cabinet’s decision to prodding by Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP).

“It looks like the press conference has forced some action,” the woman says.  

Meanwhile, as Lovell is challenging the Labour Party Administration to match the 17% increase given to public-sector workers during the UPP’s tenure in office, the Cabinet is confirming that it owes them for increases that were due in 2019 and 2020.

A 5 % increase was paid in 2018 to those workers who were entitled.

In the meantime, since new contract negotiations will not be completed by the end of 2022, the Cabinet has announced that it is prepared to pay – on or before December 31 – one month’s salary and wages to all eligible Government employees.

The Executive also promised that “the negotiations will continue in the New Year so that a precise amount to be paid to each and every eligible government employee can be determined.”

The UPP has called on the Browne Administration to make the unions a realistic offer that can be seriously discussed.

Given the impact of inflation and the decline in public servants’ standards of living and quality of life, “we see that what has been offered by this administration is certainly not enough,” Lovell says.