ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC):
The head of the Government’s Negotiating Team (GNT), Beryl Isaac, says prison and gazetted police officers have agreed to a accept the one-off “sacrifice” payment offered by the Grenada government.
She said that the Prison Welfare Association, the Police Welfare Association and the gazetted police officers have agreed and signed on to accept the EC$750 (EC$1=US$0.37) offer made to workers with more than three years of service and EC$650 for workers with less than three years of service.
Isaac said that the GNT is now waiting on the other public and private sector workers including the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), the Public Workers Union (PWU), the Bank and General Workers Union (BGWU) and the Grenada Maritime and Intellectual Workers Union (GMIWU) on whether or not they will accept the offer on behalf of their members.
During the 2017 budget presentation, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell announced that his administration would provide public officers with an EC$1,000 one-off payment for their sacrifices during the period of 2013-16 when the island implemented a home-grown International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment programme.
“Mr Speaker, for the first time ever, we are working toward a one-off payment agreement to every public officer who would have served a substantial portion of the period 2013-2016, in recognition of their contribution and shared sacrifice during the Home-grown programme,” Mitchell said then.
But while several unions accepted the offer, TAWU and PWU rejected the offer demanding instead a one off payment of EC$3,000.
They later agreed to EC$1,000 and a promise from the government to discuss the issue further.
Government is offering the one off payment for 2013-16 as well as a three per cent increase for 2017 and 2018 and four per cent for 2019.
Labour Minister Oliver Joseph said that the new wage agreement will cost the government an estimated EC$7.3 million.
But the GNT has said that because of the Fiscal Responsibility Legislation, the government is unable to offer additional funds fearing that it will violate the 2015 legislation which put a cap of government’s salary at no more than nine per cent of the total budget annually.