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  • Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, said the Government is seeking to complete salary negotiations with the remaining unions representing civil servants during the October to December quarter.
  • He noted that settlements have been reached with more than 80 per cent of the bargaining units.
  • The Minister, who was speaking in the House of Representatives on September 29, gave the undertaking to pay all arrears during the current fiscal year.

Finance and Planning Minister, Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, said the Government is seeking to complete salary negotiations with the remaining unions representing civil servants during the October to December quarter.

He noted that settlements have been reached with more than 80 per cent of the bargaining units.

The Minister, who was speaking in the House of Representatives on September 29, gave the undertaking to pay all arrears during the current fiscal year.

He noted, however, that adjustments will have to be made in order to achieve the economic targets for 2016/17, including attaining the agreed ceiling of nine per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for basic salaries.

Among the other matters to be discussed with unions in 2016/17 are: not filling posts where attrition occurs; engaging voluntary separation agreements; public sector transformation; and possible outsourcing of some tasks.

Responding to a question raised by Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, Dr. Phillips said no “drastic action,” such as wide-scale layoffs is envisaged in the considerations.

“We have not proceeded in that way in the first part of the (economic reform) programme, and in the last year remaining, we will not proceed in that way,” he assured.

Meanwhile, in relation to public sector pension reform, Dr. Phillips advised that a White Paper was presented to the House of Representatives, and that the specific arrangements to be made for implementation are “still a matter to be decided by the Cabinet…in collaboration with the representatives of the civil service involved.”

He said that once a decision is reached, this “will be reported to this House, after consultations with the trade unions involved.”