January 4, 2008
PM responds to Union’s challenge

“The reclassification exercise is not an occasion for everybody to get a salary increase. Otherwise, it is not a reclassification exercise.”

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made this point at a press conference on Wednesday at Cabinet Room, responding to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union’s dissatisfaction with the implementation of the new reclassification guidelines and subsequent salary adjustments.{{more}}

The Prime Minister insisted that the policy makers had to do a great deal of corrections to discrepancies in the final presentation of the Powell Recommendation, which he said the Union itself agreed was flawed.

He said that the reclassification process must be looked at in a broader manner.

“You can’t tell me that on the one hand that it is flawed and that things which suit you I must accept and things which do not suit you I must reject.”

“When persons are making a complaint, make a complaint in the context of what has been achieved. Don’t seek to make bread out of stone.”

Dr. Gonsalves also commented on the letter sent by the Union’s representative Denniston Douglas.

He indicated that the language of the letter was unusually hostile and the content of the letter was unbalanced.

“It is not every issue in which there is a dispute that we must appear as though there is a war, or we would not have civilized discourse,” he added.

The Prime Minister noted that it would be in an ideal world that a reclassification exercise would be treated as an opportunity to increase everybody’s pay, but we are not living in an ideal world but rather a real world. (JJ)