With the Government calling the unions to come back to the negotiating table and with the union writing and demanding their three percent, Education Minister weighed in on the issue of the salary increase, reiterating that the decision is entirely up to the Prime Minister and not the Ministry of Education.
“On the two issues that are there: firstly on the 3 percent, it is not the ministry’s position to respond. That is a position that can only be answered by the cabinet and more particularly by the Prime Minister who is the Minister of Finance in fact it is not the responsibility anymore of the collective bargaining agreement negotiating bodies. The matter was removed from there by the unions and taken directly to the Prime Minister who is the Minister of Finance. All the negotiations on those salary adjustments were done by the office of the Prime Minister. You remember they came up with the formula of how to calculate the raise; two tranches of the salary increase adjustment has already been delivered by the government. The third tranche has been agreed upon so that is all a response that the Prime Minister and the Government and the wider cabinet can answer. I am a part of cabinet, I am on my way to Cabinet meeting now and I am sure we will discuss this issue and I am sure we will be in a better position to tell you what is government’s position but the ministry cannot answer on the 3 percent.”