Front Page
October 28, 2005

Some categories of workers here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will have their salaries doubled.

From January 1, 2006, part time cleaners in schools who get between $150 and $263 monthly will be paid between $300 and $400 per month.

Cooks at schools will get increases that will take their earnings up to $350, a jump of $150 over their present $200 monthly wage. {{more}}

Part time cleaners at schools with salaries of between $112 and $321 monthly will have their present take home pay increased to $250 at the minimum and $400 at the maximum.

Part time cleaners in clinics with wages of between $110 and $113 monthly will have their salaries doubled. Their take home pay will go up to $225.

Caretakers, and cemetery workers at the District Councils and Town Boards will also enjoy 100 per cent increases on their wages which stood at $150 and $200.

Part time workers attached to schools as cleaners, cooks, and caretakers will also receive a Christmas bonus of $150 for the first time this year.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the disclosures as he addressed the nation on the occasion of the 26th Anniversary of Independence yesterday at Victoria Park.

Dr. Gonsalves referred to “certain categories of wage-earners in the central government who have historically been woefully paid.”

Other workers not covered by Union representation are also slated for the one hundred percent increases.

The Prime Minister expressed the view that the workers would perform their tasks with “greater effort and their accustomed dignity and pride.”

The increase will cost the government $1 million.

Workers with Trade Union representation are also expected to benefit from the workers’ recognition.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves is anticipating that trade unions representing government employees would conclude their agreements for the new wage round starting January 1, 2006.

According to Dr. Gonsalves, announcements of such increases were normally made during the budget.

He justified the declaration by stating that the Budget presentation was slated for December 12.

“Had I waited until then to make these announcements, it is unlikely that all the increases in pay and bonuses would have been made by Christmas 2005,” he outlined.

Vincentians have other reasons to look forward with optimism.

“Christmas barrels will be permitted free of duty in accordance with the usual conditions,” the Prime Minister stated.

Just as in 2002 when Christmas bonus payments were introduced, “monthly paid central government employees will get a $300 tax free bonus.”

The bonus payments will cost the government $3 million, and over 9,000 persons will benefit.

Persons under the Youth Employment Services (YES) programme are also listed for the bonuses.

Additionally, the Christmas payments will go to persons on Public assistance, those on the Non-Contributory Aged Assistance Pensions and those on Disability Pensions.

Those below age 65 who get Public Assistance will get $55, those over 65 years old will get $65 and those on the Non-Contributory Aged Assistance Pension as well as those on Disability pensions will get $60.

The total amount paid out to this category of workers would be $500,000.

Teachers are slated to get a four and half percent wage increase from January 1, 2006.

That is to take care of them until the reclassification exercise starts January 1, 2007.

The increases afforded to teachers would also be granted to civil servants including nurses and Police officers.