Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley, has stated that no new wage increases have been granted to any member of the public sector, including parliamentarians and ministers.
Mr. Dalley, in his Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, July 2, said there has not been any increase in salaries to public sector employees, including parliamentarians, since April 1, 2008.
The Minister, who has responsibility for the Public Service, was responding to questions tabled in the Senate some two weeks ago by Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, regarding whether government ministers and other members of parliament (MPs) had benefited from salary increases since January 2012.
Mr. Dalley, in describing Senator Montague’s questions as “mischievous”, reminded the House that the wage agreement for the 2008/2010 contract period provided for a 15 per cent salary increase in year one and a further seven per cent in year two.
While the first year’s payment of 15 per cent was made in accordance with the agreement, the seven per cent for year two was not paid as agreed, due to a freeze on wages of public sector workers.
Mr. Dalley said after much agitation by the workers and their representatives, agreement was reached in 2011, for the payment of the outstanding seven per cent.
“The agreement was signed on behalf of the Government by the then Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, the then Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, and Senator Arthur Williams, then Minister without Portfolio in the Cabinet Office,” he informed.
Under the agreement, “payment will commence in September 2011, with the retroactive amount for the month of April 2011 paid in September 2011, and the amount for the months of May to August 2011 paid in December 2011,” he outlined.
The agreement also stipulated that “outstanding arrears for the period April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2011, will be made as a ‘one off’ payment (as agreed by the parties) paid in five equal installments in May 2012, October 2012, May 2013, October 2013, and May 2014”.
“This is what this new Portia Simpson Miller government is honouring and they are the same rates that were signed by Bruce Golding, Audley Shaw and Arthur Williams in their 2011 Heads of Agreement,” he stated.
Contact: Chris Patterson