PSU to pursue wages and salary increase proposal
January 13, 2012
PSU to pursue wages and salary increase proposal

Public Service Union (PSU) officials have called the decision to forgo increases in wages and salaries for public servants this year a salary deduction.{{more}}

Speaking at a press conference this Tuesday, January 10, at the Union’s headquarters on White Chapel Road, General Secretary Elroy Boucher predicted that 2012 will be an extremely difficult year.

Boucher noted that at the end of the day, public servants would have less money with which they would be expected to do more, if there are no increases.

He called on the public servants to pay close attention to the changes.

‘When you listen to the budget debate… you would have heard that there was an increase in water, so you are going to be paying more on your water bill. There are also increases in property tax, so for two years there is no salary increase and cost of living has gone up and you are paying more for food.”

“The government says the economy can’t afford it, but at the same time you are giving permission for these increases.”

“Where are public servants going to find the extra money to pay the water bill, whatever that increase is?”

At the press conference, Union President Cools Vanloo outlined the details of a meeting of the Union’s general body, which was held on January 5.

At the meeting, the general body instructed the executive to call on the government to give due consideration to the Union’s December 8, 2011, proposal, which suggested that the government pay a negotiated portion of the agreed three per cent in 2012, and pay the balance due in December retroactively.

Vanloo said that this was rejected by the government, but the Union will attempt once again to encourage them to accept.

“As a matter of fact, we went through some scenarios; we even went down to one per cent as a demonstration of good faith in terms of understanding the circumstances the public servants are working.”

“As the General Secretary just said, based on the trend in the increase of the cost of living, and we anticipate that next year is going to go higher; what is going to happen is that if no increase comes in 2012, there would be roughly a ten per cent cut in the real purchasing power of the public servants.”

“So in real terms it is really a salary reduction, if we cannot keep pace with the increases in cost of living.”

According to Vanloo, his Union has made an appeal to other public sector workers to support their stance, despite what he said was the decision of some leaders to accept the postponement of the proposed increases unconditionally.

He said that the general body also agreed to establish a working group to further investigate and report on the issue.

Boucher stressed that the government should examine its decision not to pay the negotiated increases, and look at the proposed portion suggested by the Union.

“I would have thought that being very sensitive, that they would have placed a hold on some of these increases; perhaps with the property tax.”

“It will be tough on us; yet they are increasing the expenses to public servants and the rest of the populace.”(JJ)