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May 7, 2020

P.S.U. – “Five Weeks into COVID it was Almost a Nightmare.”

The government, notwithstanding the COVID-19 crisis, has been struggling to meet its monthly wage bill for public officers and has proposed measures that would accrue three to five percent of current expenditures.  Three weeks into the economic shutdown and the Ministry of Finance was already buckling under the weight of meeting payroll.  According to Flowers, the financial crunch precedes the coronavirus pandemic and is the result of poor management on the part of the FinSec.  As to the threat of an amendment to alter their income, the P.S.U. says it is not intimidated, but neither is it taking the threat lightly.


Dean Flowers

On the Phone: Dean Flowers, 1st Vice President, P.S.U.

“I don’t know if I can say that we’re fearful.  We view the letter for what it is, it was a threat and we take it very seriously and we certainly do not take it lightly.  As requested, for a response prior to tomorrow, the FinSec will be receiving a response today outlining our position and offering alternatives to his plan.  Clearly he has sat and thought about the different areas in which he can realize savings, but we are saying, “Look, first of all we are here because of the poor job that you have done as Financial Secretary in managing our finances.”  It’s no secret that the government has been struggling on a monthly basis to meet its debt obligations, including the wage bill.  COVID-19 is not the reason why the FinSec cannot make this wage bill on time and so how can we then take the FinSec’s recommendation as the magic wand or the magic answer to solving this problem.  First of all, FinSec you are part of the problem because you were charged with managing the finances of this country and clearly you’ve done a poor job of that which has us in this position.  More than three weeks after COVID, only three weeks after COVID we’ve had difficulty in receiving our salaries on time.  Five weeks into COVID it was almost a nightmare.  COVID is not the reason for the financial crisis that we are in, it’s poor management and so we will not be dictated to by the FinSec.  And the prime minister has it within his authority to amend the regulation on the law as he should and he can continue along that way in bullying the P.S.U., if I can use that term, but I want to make it clear that the P.S.U. will not sit idly by and watch him do that either.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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