The Government Negotiating team and the PWU/TAWU Joint team are looking for a resolution to their stand-off on the one-off payment Government offer for increases covering 2013 to 2016.
Both sides met last Friday but couldn’t come up with anything conclusive for the period in question.
The Government is offering the Unions one thousand dollars as a one-off payment since is what it can afford on the basis of its economic adjustment programme but the Union’s affiliates say it’s not enough and are asking for three thousand dollars.
They speak of one thousand immediately and the rest by April, though not indicating any specific deadline date.
Since the deadlock both parties have been hitting the airwaves outlining their position to the Nation.
Speaking with the Union negotiating team on the issue last Friday, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell, called on the parties towork together on a solution that puts the country first, and that was after ne noted the restrictions on the Government’s ability to entertain additional payments proposed by the two Unions.
The Prime Minister reminded the delegates that in 2013, the Government honoured the existing commitment to pay a total of 40.5 million dollars in salary increases for the period 2010-2012.
Dr. Mitchell stated further that it’s not that the Government doesn’t want to honour workers’ requests, but it cannot.
He reminded the Unions that it would jeopardise the full benefits of the SAP, including the millions in debt relief and funds that the country stands to gain after the last successful review.
He also made note of the Fiscal Responsibility Legislation recently passed by Parliament that severely restrict the Government from spending in excess of 9% of the Gross Domestic Product in any one fiscal year on Personal Emoluments.
Therefore, the Grenadian Leader says and in his direct words, “If we lose the money from the SAP by agreeing to pay the unions their request, then we still will not be able to pay the money you’re asking because we won’t have it anyway.”
However, it should be noted that the parties agreed in principle on increases to base salaries of 3% increase for 2017 and 2018 and 4% for 2019, amounting to a total of 22.9 million dollars specifically for that 3-year period.
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