Funds from the Citizenship by Investment Programme will be allocated to increase the pay for employees of the vector control unit attached to the Central Board of Health (CBH) after they protested their low wages on Tuesday.
At yesterday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Economic Investment Asot Michael said that $200,000 will be set aside for the workers who had been anticipating an increase for months.
“It appears that the workers were inadvertently overlooked when increases were granted to other CBH workers. The money to pay those workers will be moved immediately from the CIP operating account into the Ministry of Health and the CBH in particular, following the calculation; all those workers will be paid in a few days,” Michael said.
Approximately 60 vector control staff took to the streets in protest on Tuesday, demanding an immediate upgrade in salaries, as they have been barely getting by on their weekly wages of $309.
The workers were anticipating an increase in salary after the 2017 Budget Presentation but when it was not forthcoming, they took action with the backing of their union.
“The honourable Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph indicated his regrets that this matter had to come to his attention by way of a strike; the increase in wage is justly deserved the minister pointed out and will be corrected immediately,” he said.
Michael admitted that these workers were apparently overlooked.
The staff members were told at the time that they should not expect any increase before six weeks, as the 2017 budgetary allocations await the approval of the Senate.