Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (iWN file photo)

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says that his government has not suspended talks with trade unions discussions about a one-month, tax-free salary payment in light of the absence of a wage increase for public sector workers since 2011.

Gonsalves told Parliament on Tuesday that the talks have been shelved until his government’s financial situation improves.

Head of the Teachers Union, Oswald Robinson, told I-Witness News this week that his union has suspended talks with the government on the matter.

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The decision came after a meeting last Friday, in which Gonsalves told the Teachers Union and three other unions that his government will not be able to make the payment this year.

“Mr. Speaker, I just want to say this: in relation to emoluments, there was discussion just on Friday with the public servants. I indicated to them that at the current time we are not in a position to pay the one month salary which they asked, which will amount to 25 million dollars, public servants, teachers, etc.,” Gonsalves said while responding to a question tabled by Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace about the fiscal outturn during the first half of the year.

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Gonsalves said negotiations with the Police Welfare Association concerning allowances are “on a different track and that we will keep the matter under review”.

“I have seen a report where it said the teacher said they have suspended discussion. There was no question of a suspending of the discussions. We just agreed that we wouldn’t meet again unless there was some change in the circumstances. So if there is a representation that there was a suspension, the meeting was held in a cordial spirit, and, as I say, the matter continues to be under review,” Gonsalves told Parliament.

7 replies on “Public servants’ salary payment talks shelved until gov’t finances improve — PM”

  1. See the difference, if they got that answer from an NDP government they would be instantly on strike,

    It’s what’s called Marxist solidarity.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Peter, absolutely right. The PM has the labour-union leaders in his pocket in the same way that he has what little leadership the badly divided Garifuna have under his wing, if not foot, as well.

    You have much distain for this man but not enough respect for his political brilliance. He hasn’t won three election in a row for nothing. Give this man his due as a great Caribbean leader, where greatness is defined as the ability to win elections, which is all most of these greedy and power hungry people want.

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      C Ben,
      Your leader Eustace, is going crazy in the head, maybe you should take over the circus.
      Or is it that you are the white elephant, like you said of the airport.

  3. Why don’t they go block the road now was n’t that what they did in 2001? I guess they don’t take S**t from their fellow black but will from the white. Who ever say massa days done? Maybe they just fraid.

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      Hope,
      You keep , hoping.
      You got to travel more, you are showing that you are a small minded man.

  4. petergriffin says:

    Hand plait rope and rope tie hand.In 2001 Ralph Gonsalves encouraged the civil servants to hold out for 30 percent from the then NDP government because he claimed that the economy was able to afford it so now that he can,t pay a simple one off salary is it fair to say that the economy is in real bad shape despite the fact that he say we are doing wonderfully well.We all know that nothing will come out of all this talk by Oswald Robinson so the PM would just ignore him.Noel Jackson and Burns Bonadie are not going to encourage persons in their respective unions to strike.The labour teachers are not going to protest to make their party nor their God Ralph Gonsalves look bad so might as well Oswald put his tail between his legs and relax himself.

  5. petergriffin says:

    Somebody needs to tell Oswald Robinson that Ralph Gonsalves has more important stuff to deal with now than to waste money on teachers.Any money the PM gets now is to go towards the Argyle Airport to ensure that he gets it in a more better position because he sees it as his only life saviour in the pending elections.The1700 teachers can,t frighten Ralph.and it will be less than that figure when you minus the ULP teachers.The PM recently boasted that he has over 400 million dollars to spend so how come he cant take out 25 and pay the teachers and civil servants whom he claim he loves so much.

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