Earlier this year, Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, paid out a 3% salary increase to the workers and promised the balance will be paid whenever the country’s economic situation improves.
All categories of government workers, through their various trade unions, reached an agreement with the ULP Government on salary increases over a period of time. A five percent salary increase was to be in effect this year and when Gonsalves effected the 3% payment earlier this year he made a promise that the balance will be paid.
With the electorate heading to the polls on Monday 13th December, the PM has kept that promise and announced last night at a ULP public meeting at Belmont that the balance of 2% will be paid by 20th December.
Dr Gonsalves mentioned that the Barbados government is now asking its workers to accept a wage freeze while his ULP administration was handing out a wage increase.
“I want to tell the teachers, public servant, the nurses, the police men and women, I asked you earlier this year, when I was supposed to pay you 5% percent, I tell you take three and hold and when I catch my hand a little bit, I will give you the other 2%. Well, in your December pay package you will get, back-dated, the 2%,” Dr Gonsalves announced.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister also made the point that the oil-rich Republic of Trinidad and Tobago could only offer workers on the government’s pay roll, a 1% increase.
Gonsalves also used last night’s meeting to announce that the government of Guyana was sending financial contribution of US$100,000, which will go towards the hurricane Tomas relief effort.