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Christmas back-pays and pay-backs

Sunday, December 22, 2013

“T&T ranked 110th out of 144 countries in labour market efficiency according to the Global Competitiveness Index in 2011–2012. In particular, a poor work ethic is cited as one of the most problematic factors in the efficiency of the national labour force, suggesting that temporary government employment programmes may be providing significant disincentives to work.”
—IMF Article IV Consultation Report, May 22, 2013.



Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran journeyed to Penal last Wednesday to present its Monetary Policy Report, which saw this country’s projected economic growth recalculated downwards to 1.5 per cent from the 2.5 originally forecast. 


The previous day, however, the Chief Personnel Officer and the National Union of Government and Federated Workers announced a 12 per cent wage increase for the country’s largest union, which boasts a membership of 40,000 public sector workers that is sure to be used as a benchmark for the impending round of negotiations by other trade unions.


The 12 per cent wage increase guaranteed to the NUGFW’s base of largely daily-paid workers means that the large body of workers who fall into the clerical, administrative and technical streams represented by the Public Services Association will demand and be awarded no less. The demonstration effect suggests higher wage awards for workers represented by the OWTU in the energy sector, and private-sector employers should prepare for higher wage expectations as well.


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