Grenada: The Government of Grenada has fulfilled its promise to meet with unions representing public workers. It attempts to reach a date to honour payment of the 4% salary raise to public officers.
In keeping with this, it associated with representatives of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) on Friday, April 16, 2021, to review the administration’s financial performance at the end of the first quarter.
Leader of the- Government Negotiating Team (GNT), Hon. Oliver Joseph said Government is committed to its promise to pay the 4% rise. Still, it cannot state a definitive date for payment, given the country’s weak fiscal performance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He pointed out that recurrent revenue, the administration source of funds for the wage bill, continues to be important impacted by this pandemic.
However, the GUT, which was done at Friday’s meeting by emergency-past President-Marvin Andall, maintained its the position that it is the expects payment to be made by the end of the May 2021 and asserted that it would continue with protest action until a date is given for payment of the 4%.
Attendees at Friday’s meeting got a detailed summary of the economic performance from Mr Mike Sylvester, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.
Pointing to the country’s dire economic situation, Mr Sylvester revealed that more than EC $8.5 million had been spent than initially programmed. The administration has spent EC $0.3 million more than it collected in the total revenues and grants-up to the end of the first-quarter.
Besides, there has been a significant weakening of the country’s fiscal situation and an increase in the debt to GDP-ratio. The Permanent Secretary also stated growth in 2021 would be on a low base, given the significant downturn in economic activity in 2020.
During Friday’s meeting, the Ministry of the Finance also made several recommendations that can help to cushion the effects of the global pandemic.
These include accelerating the implementation of the rate of the Public Sector Investment Programme to aid economic-recovery, containing recurrent spending and creating space to fund capital expenditure.
While the administration acknowledges its contractual obligation, it has requested a deferral in payment of the upsurge, given the impact of the exogenous coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s revenue earnings.
This situation remains a deadlocked. The Labour Commissioner is anticipated to make a recommendation by the end of April.