Back pay in October is ‘unlikely’

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne said it was never his government’s intention to pay outstanding back pay to public servants by October.
In fact, the nation’s leader said his timeframe has always been ‘before the end of the year.’ However, this is contrary to the post-Cabinet meeting press statement issued on August 22, this year.
“I have always indicated that it would be before the end of the year, it seems as though the negotiating committee was trying to have the first payment before the end of October. I had recognised long before that October would have been unlikely and would have consistently said by the end of the year,” Browne said on Saturday while speaking on Pointe FM Radio station which he founded.
In late August, the Cabinet reported that it “made a determination to raise the resources required to meet the back pay of civil servants, in two tranches. The precise amounts have not yet been definitively determined. However, one-half is likely to be paid by October 31, 2018; and the other one-half before the end of 2018.”
It had also elaborated that the calculations to each established worker, each non-established worker, each teacher and other individual members of several unions would have to be determined precisely.
Public servants who qualify are to receive two months tax free salary that is expected to erase any further obligation that the government has to its employees going back to 2009. Last week, the government’s Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst, speaking on ZDK Liberty Radio, said, “The access to the resources has proven to be a little more difficult. As you know the government doesn’t have the money hanging around so when the money does come it will be distributed.”
According to the Chief of Staff, over $40 million is needed to cover the monies due to the 10,000 plus government workers.
Hurst had indicated that “by Christmas” the workers would have “some” money and he emphasised that it would not be paid “all at once.”
The workers were actually owed about a decade’s worth of back pay but agreed earlier this year to accept two months worth of salary and to forego the rest.

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