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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

St Lucia government denies report of pay hike as "mischievous and untrue"

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Wednesday December 5, 2012 – The St. Lucia government Wednesday denied reports that ministers were to receive a 30 per cent salary increase.

A statement from the Office of The Prime Minister said the reports were “mischievous and untrue”.

Media reports claimed that the Kenny Anthony administration, which has urged public officers to accept a wage freeze for the 2010-12 period, was now giving consideration to the recommendations of the Salary Review Commission (SRC) for the increase.

The government said that the former administration had appointed the SRC to review the salaries of numerous officials and parliamentarians and that “to date, the Commission has not submitted its final report to the government of St. Lucia.

“Indeed, the life of the Commission had to be extended to allow it to complete its work,” the statement said, adding that the former Stephenson King government “proceeded to increase the salaries of senior public officers by as much as thirty percent in some cases before the completed report was laid in parliament.”

The statement noted that it is a little surprising that these allegations could surface when the public sector has a representative on the Commission.

It said in any event, the report of the Commission would have to be laid in Parliament as required by law, so it would be available for public scrutiny.

The St. Lucia Trade Union Federation (SLTUF), which walked out of the negotiations last week after being offered a zero per cent increase for the three years and a one-time payment of EC$1,000 (One EC dollar = US$0.37 cents), is due to return to the bargaining table Thursday.

The SLTUF said that its members have given a mandate to accept nothing less than their original offer of 16 per cent for the triennium. (CMC)


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