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May 7, 2020

P.S.U. Holds Firm on Increments Despite FinSec’s Threat

There is an impasse tonight between the Public Service Union and the Government. The matter has been brewing for some weeks, but the union remains firmly rooted in its position not to waive or defer increments for its members without first sitting with Financial Secretary Joseph Waight to go over areas where the Ministry of Finance is realizing a shortfall.  That collective view follows a meeting that was held by its executive on Wednesday night, ahead of responding to a letter from the FinSec.  While public officers acknowledge that they too are not spared from the financial hardship being experienced across the country, they will not willingly give up or postpone a salary increase.  In a letter written to the P.S.U. on Wednesday, the Financial Secretary gave an ultimatum that if the union continues to reject government’s proposal, the Prime Minister will have no other choice but to advise the Governor General to amend the Public Service Regulations to alter their salaries.  First Vice President, Dean Flowers, in speaking with News Five, says that they are prepared to make the sacrifice, however, the Ministry of Finance needs to be forthcoming with the actual figures.


Dean Flowers

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

“The position of the P.S.U. is what it has always been and it’s pretty much that we have made certain recommendations to the Financial Secretary on the way forward in addressing any emergency financing that may be required.  We have offered, we have requested information from the FS and we’ve offered a couple alternatives on the way forward, but it is clear that the FinSec doesn’t seem to be amenable to engage in too much dialogue and has already made up his mind as to what he wants to do and what he believes is best in addressing the shortfall that government may be experiencing.  Now I need to state clearly that the P.S.U.’s position is that we are not exempted and we should not be exempted from sacrifice in these trying times; however, we are saying that if we are going to make sacrifices you will need to show us the numbers, you will need to show us the shortfall and together we will identify areas that we can implement a cut and achieve the objective and the numbers that you are looking for.  But clearly, we have not received those numbers.  We’ve made several requests to the FinSec and nothing has been forthcoming so our position remains the same in that we are prepared to make whatever sacrifice is necessary, whether it’s for us to defer our increments or whether it’s for us to forego our increment.  However, before such a decision is taken we must have an open an honest discussion with the Ministry of Finance whereby we look at the numbers and we look at the areas which we have identified that can clearly be addressed to achieve whatever savings the ministry is trying to achieve.”

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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