Increment freeze ‘unconstitutional’
Government is being warned that its planned free on the payment of increments to public sector workers could be challenged in court.
Notice of this came today from President of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) Cedric Murrell.
“CTUSAB believes that this may be unconstitutional and open to legal challenge. [We] recommend that the Social Partners be invited to develop a Protocol on Recovery and Growth,” the trade unionist said at a press conference.
“The Prices and Incomes Protocol, which was negotiated in 1993, grew out of a period when the Barbados economy had very significant challenges and we believe that a similar approach to national dialogue led by a minister of Government with the necessary latitude to negotiate an agreement with the other partners should be attempted.”
The freeze on paying increments is part of measures being taken by Government to stem the widening fiscal deficit.
Murrell said while CTUSAB understands the nature and extent of the current fiscal crisis facing the country and the implications, all measures have not been examined.
“It is also to be considered that the existence of many private sector businesses is largely dependent on supplying goods and services to government institutions. The consequences are that the unemployment situation will be exacerbated,” Murrell stressed.