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Mineva Glasgow in a 2020 photo by Lance Neverson/Facebook)
Mineva Glasgow in a 2020 photo by Lance Neverson/Facebook)
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The Cabinet of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has established a new National Wages Council in accordance with the Wages Council Act to deliberate on matters relating to the terms and conditions of work, hours of work, minimum wages, holiday, sick leave, maternity leave, vacation pay, overtime, among other issues.

This is in keeping with the government’s overall poverty reduction thrust, to put more money in the pockets of low-income earners and the quest to achieve Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goal — “promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all”.

The council, which is made up of 26 members, is chaired Mineva Glasgow, with Tyrone Burke as vice- chair. It also has 24 members representing the following sectors: agriculture, shop assistants, workers in offices of professionals, hotel, industrial, domestic, security, and a new additional sector, nursing homes.

Glasgow said the addition of the nursing home sector is critical, adding that it attests to the government’s vision of ensuring that workers in this expanding nursing home sector are included, since these workers are expected to administer a quality standard of care to the elderly loved ones in our society whose relatives are seeking for them a “home away from home”.

Glasgow said council does not intend to re-invent the wheel. Instead, the council will build on the work of those who went before, but, at the same time, recommend the necessary adjustments to the Wages Council Act and the requisite Statutory Rules and Orders.

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This council will duly consider the rate of inflation, the projected expansion of the SVG’s economy, and GDP growth to guide the recommendations.

Other areas of focus include cooperation with the social partners to uphold the legislation.

The consultation will commence on March 29 with the Labour Department and other key stakeholders such as the trade union movement, Chambers of Industry and Commerce and Employers Federation.

“It is our hope that by working together as a council that we can make a difference in creating a reasonable safety net for the waged workers in our society, which would help to reduce poverty and at the same time increase productivity at all levels of the employment spectrum,” the council said in a press release.