No retreat on pay rise – NUPW

There will be no back pedalling by the National Union of Public Workers [NUPW] as it relates to the pursuit of salary increases for public servants.

From left NUPW officials Asakore Beckles, Roslind Smith, Akanni McDowall and Wayne Walrond.
From left NUPW officials Asakore Beckles, Roslind Smith, Akanni McDowall and Wayne Walrond.

This was made clear by the union’s president Akanni McDowall, who insisted today he had evidence which clearly showed that Government can afford the pay rise.

Only recently in an interview with Barbados TODAY, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said he was not prepared to commit the Freundel Stuart administration to any additional salary expenditure at this time.

“We are basing the fact that we want a salary increase for public servants on evidence. We are basing that on fact,” McDowall told journalists at the NUPW’s Dalkeith Road, St Michael headquarters this evening.

“As I said before, I told our treasurer Asakore Beckles to make sure that he gets the best possible minds in Barbados to determine whether or not Government can afford a salary increase for public servants and he came back to me and told me ‘yes they can’.

“So we are basing that on what we found during our meetings with the best brains in Barbados. Evidence is there that we should go after a salary increase and that is what we are doing,” he explained.

Sinckler had earlier admitted that while there were signs towards economic recovery, it was too soon to say whether Government could afford a wage hike.

“We will have to see. We are now in the process of doing the 2016/2017 Estimates. We are now finalizing those numbers, which we should be much clearer on in January as we come out of the holiday season and so forth, so we will know by then. But it is difficult to say.

“I don’t want to say ‘yeah’ or ‘nay’ but things still remain tight. We are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel; the economy is beginning to turnaround. We can see some economic activity but of course those things take time to gel and to get going, so it really has to be based on the financial affordability of the Government and whether the Government has the capacity to pay,” he told Barbados TODAY last month.

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