Government could meet with public sector unions soon

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Government could meet with public sector unions soon
Government offices, Waterfront, Castries.
Government offices, Waterfront, Castries.

The public service ministry is currently preparing a schedule to include all public sector unions to start discussions regarding the proposed wage cut through the Government Negotiating Team (GNT), a senior government official has said.

These discussions are likely to commence within the next two weeks, the source said.

The composition of the GNT has not been revealed but reports are that members of the team have already been identified. Chester Hinkson was the first to be selected and will serve as chairman.

The move to initiate a GNT was based on a recommendation from public sector unions.

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony had said the GNT will help in discussing the proposals to cut expenditure in an effort to reach consensus on a way forward. He had also promised to commence negotiations immediately, provided that unions agree to an agenda proposed by the government.

Discussions are expected to last two weeks after the commencement of negotiations. However, in a press statement issued July 25, the National Workers Union (NWU) said it did not receive any communication regarding the composition of the team.

The NWU said it is imperative that urgent attention is given to expedite the issue.

President of the Civil Service Association (CSA) Mary Isaac said her organisation is also awaiting word from the ministry regarding a date when both parties can meet. Isaacs said the CSA is prepared to enter discussions at anytime, once a time and date is given.

The CSA head said while she does not have any information as it relates to when discussions could begin, she is expecting that the government could come forward in the new week ahead.

Other public sector unions have also come forward to say they are waiting on government.

Government is exploring measures to curb public debt since an increase by 1.5 percent over the past two years. They have proposed a five per cent wage cut, which can afford the country to save $18.5 million, with a recurrent financing gap of $57.5 million.

During the 2014/2015 financial year, government plans to enhance its debt service profile, and in doing so is expected to stabilise $227 million in treasury bills and $197 million in bonds.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I may not be around to vote next election but I honestly hope St. Lucians give LPM a try. My reason for saying this is because I am fed up with layba and flambeau. SERIOUSLY...

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  2. There was a big rush to cut our salaries, what happen now? Whatever the result is I will protest if they have a cut because I will be affected as a public servant myself.

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  3. The Government has already sanctioned the 5% wage cut effective August 2014. Is this when he will tell the news?

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