The government’s proposed salary increases of 1 percent retroactive to July 2018, 1.5 per cent from January 2019, and 2 per cent for 2020 have been accepted by the National Workers Movement (NWM) and the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers Union (CTAWU).
The agreement was reached at a meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and other government officials last Friday at Cabinet Room in the absence of the three main trade unions representing public sector workers namely; the Public Service Union, the SVG Teachers Union, and the Police Welfare Association.
The leadership of these three unions stayed away from the meeting last Friday after they were asked to leave their cell phones outside.
On Star FM on Friday Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said the agreement with the National Workers Movement (NWM) and the Commercial Technical and Allied Workers Union (CTAWU) will be accepted as the final and will be placed in the estimates to be included in the budget for 2019.
The Prime Minister further explained the increases which he said are in addition to other benefits for teachers and other public servants.
In the coming days the Prime Minister is expected to meet with members of the business community, agriculture and tourism sectors to discuss issues related to the 2019 budget which will be presented in parliament on Monday February 4th 2019.
Meanwhile addressing the issue with the unions representatives who walked away from meeting with him on Friday because they refused to leave their cell phones with security, PM Gonsalves said it is part of protocol and security measures put in by the state administration, and not him.
The Prime Minister said he also did not have a cell phone on him to ensure protocol was observed by all and that it was unfortunate that the unions namely the Public Service Union, the SVG Teachers Union, and the Police Welfare Association could not represent their members at Friday’s meeting in a meaningful way.