Last update: 24-Apr-2014 12:29 am
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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If granted, Judiciary must justify salary increases
Should compensation packages to the major office-holders in the three arms of the State—the Judiciary, the Parliament and Executive—be strictly linked to the quality and efficiency of the service they render to the public?
Indeed, it may also be that justification for the continuation in office at the highest level of the State must also depend on public acceptance that the office-holders are earning their salaries before they can “ask for more.” It may also be that office holders should be required to say why there should not be an effective reduction in their salaries for non-performance.
Unionised workers and their leaders have to petition and justify claims for salary increases as they simultaneously engage in rigorous “struggle” on the streets for salary increases and other benefits and are often lectured on uncompetitive productivity levels and the inability of the State to meet pay increases. All this is stated while workers’ salaries have been effectively reduced by six to eight years of waiting, all the while that inflation has taken a large chunk out of an eventual settlement.
So why should the salaries of major office holders, especially those in the Parliament and the Executive, remain unaffected, more so as over the last 25 years the electorate has consistently voted out administrations because of the poor quality of governance offered? In the instance of the Judiciary, Chief Justice Ivor Archie has accepted that judges, including those in the Appeal Court, have not performed as efficiently as is required in delivering judgments on time.
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