January 20, 2006
Civil servants get pay hike

In an era when oil prices are increasing on the world market and other external factors are posing significant challenges to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and his administration have bitten the bullet and have decided to follow through on a promise to increase civil servants’ pay in 2006.

On Tuesday, Dr. Gonsalves in the Budget Estimates announced that $177.8 million has been budgeted for wages and salaries. Categorizing it, he said the 2006 Budget for the wages bill is made up of $149.3 million for Salaries, $12.2 million for Allowances and $16.2 million for Wages.{{more}}

Dr.Gonsalves pointed out that in 2006, the increase in Personal Emoluments is as a result of five main areas: (I) The 4.5 per cent salary increase which was negotiated with the unions representing teachers, the police, nurses and civil servants; (II) The increase in wage rates paid to several categories of workers including part-time cleaners in clinics and schools, cooks in schools, part-time cleaners of toilets in schools, part-time cleaners in clinics and schools, caretakers and cemetery workers at District Councils and Town Boards and Non-unionized part-time workers.

(III) The increase in all allowances paid to civil servants effective January 1, 2006; (IV) The wage drift as a result of the payments of automatic annual increments to civil servants, and (V) Increases in the number of positions and funds in critical areas in the public service such as Tax Administration, Education, National Security, Agriculture, Public Administration and Technology.