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Public servants to get salary increase but no bonus

Finance Minister Winston Jordan

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan on Thursday announced that public servants would get an increase in salary retroactive to January, 2019 but no bonuses would be paid for a third straight year.

“While there will be no one-off end-of-year bonus, the retroactive salary increase will be applied to salaries for 2020 as well,” the government’s Department of Public Information (DPI) quoted Mr. Jordan as saying.

The minister did not state how much the salary increase would be, but that is almost certain to trigger criticism once again by the trade unions that the hikes would be imposed rather than negotiated between employer and employee.

Bonuses were not paid in 2017 and 2018, and the previously customary one-month salary to members of the Disciplined Services have not been paid by the David Granger-led administration since coming to power in 2015.

However, the government has been boasting that since 2015, it has increased public servants’ salaries by 62%. In 2015, public servants were paid GYD$50,000. The following year, they received GYD$25,000. In 2017 and 2018, public servants received retroactive salary increases. The Christmas retroactive salary hike will increase this even further.

The salary increase announcement was made a day after the President said that he was awaiting word, from the Finance Minister, on the availability of funds to pay year-end bonuses. Mr. Granger has cited the fact that his administration is in caretaker mode since the passage of the no-confidence motion, in keeping with a decision by the Caribbean Court of Justice, and so could not go to Parliament for approval for extra funds to pay bonuses.

Minister Jordan reportedly noted that the government is seeking to bring salaries and benefits to a level that suits the job.