PSU President rails against GOB sluggishness to un-freeze increments
The Public Service Union have long complained that the increments, which were frozen by the Briceño administration have not been reinstated. Last week, NTUCB President, Luis Luke Martinez criticised the government for not doing it, despite the increase of the PM’s transport monthly allowance by almost 300 percent and the wages of High Court judges to up to 175,000 per year. Among several issues discussed today by union leaders was the question of when it will be reinstated. President Dean Flowers says that if GOB does not include those increments in the upcoming budget, significant action by the public service will likely follow.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “Our position to the government remains. Increments must be restored on April 1st 2023. There is absolutely no reason for the government to continue punishing public officers by withholding their increments. When the financial secretary came to us he was clear that the government would have yielded approximately 17 million dollars in savings from increments annually. For the past 3 years that would have resulted in a $51 million dollars in savings. Lo and behold if it is that the government really needed to freeze increments and continue to freeze increments then how in the world can this administration justify that in one year apart from passing their budget they went back to the house for $240 million dollars in supplementals? That does not show austerity and that does not show government who is managing the finances of this country prudently and so we are saying that there is no need to continue with holding that $17 million dollars which by the way has not been substantiated by the financial secretary with empirical data of public officers. The government will say to you that the pension bill currently stands at $100 million dollars. This of course again has not been substantiated neither by an audit because lord knows every year there is some couple hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from the treasury through fraudulent means by our very own public officers which means then that this $100 million if this is what they’re paying out could very much include fraudulent transactions. This government was able to renegotiate the super bond and negotiate the blue bonds on the back of public officers not on the back of the Prime Minister, not on the backs of CEOs not on the backs of the private sector but rather on the backs of public officers. It is therefore unacceptable that the government will say to us that despite imposing a sacrifice on us that they will continue to punish us while they continue to reward themselves.”