You are here
Unions to stage hunger march on Saturday
National Trade Union Centre (Natuc) President, Michael Annisette, is calling upon all trade unionists and civil society groups to take part in its “hunger march” on Saturday. This march is a show of force rejection of the Government’s five per cent offer to public servants. It will begin at Aranguez Savannah and end at Woodford Square, Port-of-Spain. Annisette told the Guardian that the Government’s offer was not only made to monthly rated public servants but also to daily rated workers who belong to the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) and other unions.
“We are disappointed with the Government’s offer of five per cent to monthly paid workers and also the daily paid local Government workers. This does nothing to address the inflation rate and how it affects workers’ purchasing power,” he said. He pointed out that public sector workers’ wages are falling behind those of the private sector. “Over the past few years we have seen collective agreements in the private sector settled in the areas of between 12 per cent to 19 per cent. This will only exacerbate the wage disparity between the two sectors if public sector employees’ wages remain where they are,” he said.
Annisette said if the Government is to become more efficient in providing goods and services to its citizens it must have a well-paid and highly motivated workforce. He added that if the Government is serious about reviving the economy, it has to understand that workers’ consumption habits will stimulate the economy. “If workers’ salaries aren’t raised then the economy will contract. When workers have the money to purchase goods and services it helps to expand and stimulate the economy,” he said. Apart from having a major role in the economy, he also pointed out that the Government is the largest employer and must act in a responsible and equitable manner.
Last Friday, in a newspaper advertisement, Finance Minister Winston Dookeran stated that Government’s latest compensation package offer to all public servants throughout the entire public sector would cost the treasury $1.25 billion, in addition to cost for allowances of $761 million for 2011. He added the wage bill for the public sector would be approximately $8 billion annually representing 19 per cent of the country’s gross revenue.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.