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Nov 28, 2022

Public Officers & Teachers Want Their Increments Unfrozen

Earlier this year, the Briceño administration returned the ten percent salary cut for public officers and teachers, but an increment freeze is still in place. As the country’s economy is gradually rebounding, allowances for C.E.O.s were recently increased, much to the disappointment of the unions. Over the weekend, News Five caught up with Union Senator Elena Smith, who says that for some time now, they have been trying to get a meeting with government to have their increments unfrozen.


Elena Smith

Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We should. This was not something that should go on forever. You will understand and you can understand when teachers get upset when they see these things happening and then when the prime minister says well the teachers got back their ten percent so C.E.O.s can get something, failing to say to us that everybody got back the ten percent, including them. So they got the ten, plus they got these things and where are our teachers. We work very hard, we have done a lot during this pandemic; we continue to do a lot to try and bridge the gap of that two year difference that we’ve had. And for us to be at a point where we see everything going up but our increments remain frozen, it has made our lives difficult. And a lot of our teachers do not have the resources to be able to sustain the bills that they have, their families and provide for the classroom as well. So these things, when you look at the increment and you calculate what you would have lost, it is more than the ten percent and so, it is important that that be reinstated and as urgently as possible. So we are awaiting the meeting with the government side because we have been asking for it for quite some time now. It’s for them now to set that meeting and sit with us so that we can discuss the next steps forward because this has gone too long now. OUT 09:24

IN 09:43 we know that the increment freeze is for a set period of time; they had said three years. It doesn’t mean that it has to go to three years and so we are hoping that it can end very shortly and hopefully for this upcoming fiscal year that it can be reinstated.”



“The prime minister, however, has argued that increments are not automatic.”


Elena Smith

“It’s not automatic, but they took away from everybody. So from the time you took from everybody, then you are saying to us that it is automatic. And so we know that there has to be an appraisal and you get that base on your appraisal so if that is the case, then they should have taken from those who would have deserved to get increments those years, but they just took away from everybody. So right away you are saying to us it is automatic, everybody must get the cut because everybody will get increment anyway. So give it back to everybody cause you took from all of us.”

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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