Daily paid public servants who are represented by the National Workers Union (NWU) have received long awaited good news: they will be paid outstanding wage increases and their retroactive wage settlements this month.
In fact as early as this week, Thursday, August 15, 2013, the daily paid workers will receive their retro-active settlements and they can plan to enjoy a four percent increase in salary in time for the next payroll on August 22, 2013.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Public Service Daune Louisy explains the payments were delayed because of the complexity involved in programming government’s payroll system to execute payment, given the varied and differential wage agreements for the different categories of workers.
“There are two categories of settlements for the members of the National Workers Union – the daily paid workers and the monthly paid workers because the negotiated agreement looked at two different components, a $750 lump sum payment and adjustment in salaries and the other component a four percent increase and a retro-active settlement. It was not a straight forward solution for the Accountant General’s Department, so because of that the programmers had to be called in to ensure the payments would be accurate and there won’t be any errors in meeting those payments,” Louisy says.
Having resolved the delay, the Ministry of the Public Service is also apologizing to the affected public workers.
The deputy permanent secretary says the authorities will continue to be proactive and liaise with the relevant stakeholders to ensure the payout of negotiated wages and other benefits to all classes of workers are paid out a lot smoother in the future.
She adds: “All throughout the negotiations and particularly with the NWU, we have had discussions with them both via email and written correspondents to the trade unions. The executive members of the NWU and our team had several discussions at every step of the way to indicate what was feasible and what was not, and we also consulted with them in the best way we could manage the wages for their members in a timely manner, so we have been and will continue to work with the sister agencies to ensure that any issues that arise we would have preliminary discussions with them and then get an agreement going forward on how best we can manage any issue that may arise from time to time.”
Louisy says the Ministry of the Public Service and by extension the government of Saint Lucia remains committed to the welfare of all public servants.