Prime Minister Gaston Browne says if unions representing public sector workers continue to make unreasonable demands on the government for wage increases, it could plunge the economy into crisis
Teachers and now nurses have been demanding monies owed, reclassification, and better working conditions from the government, through their bargaining agents
On Thursday hundreds of educators returned to their classrooms, following sit-ins for several days and nurses are still trying to decide what form of action they should take to get some attention to their plight.
Browne, the country’s finance minister said on State TV ABS that while the government understands the plight of public sector workers, there is a need for balance.
“I find, though, that political elements are now taking over the leadership of these institutions and they’re becoming a little reckless with their demands. And if this continues unabated, they could plunge the country into crisis, because at the end of the day, if the government is called upon to pay increases that it cannot afford, then there will be only one of two possible options. One, we increase taxes or retrench or maybe both” Browne said
He said the government aims to maintain stability in prices and not necessarily to increase prices.
“We are opposed to retrenching, so we continue to ask for some level of reasonableness. We understand the difficulties, but they also have to understand, too, that government revenues have declined significantly as a result of COVID, and we are still suffering from the lingering effects of COVID,” he explained.
Browne says the government has already committed to ensuring improved wages, despite what some multilateral agencies like the International Monetary Fund have said.
“I just want them to know that their actions also have consequences. Not that we are threatening anyone, but if we don’t sensitize the public as to the possible consequences of their demands that are beyond the means of the government, then perhaps they can argue that they make demands out of ignorance,” Browne added.
Another risk to unreasonable demand outlined by the prime minister in that interview was an inflationary impact, at a time when inflation is already a significant challenge.
When the ministers asked for an upgrade in salary, weren’t they being unreasonable then?
They are excluded from expenses that the general public “haffu pay” and also to factor in the shoulders they rub with high status individuals to avoid charges.
It’s 2023! Time to get it together!
We want better roads and better pay!!!
Oh, and water to cause “granny haffu wash she kin”!
Interesting, one minute the country has already rebounded from covid, and another minute, the country is still suffering from the lingering effect of covid. Gee mi wan damn break with these duplicitous statements about covid.
Politicians can never find monies for the plebs.
It’s amazing they find the $$ to give themselves raises, but for the essentials workers they don’t have the money. That is pure nonsense.
How comes the government have enough to pay for the Alfa Nero so many thousands of dollars weekly and cannot pay its workers and retirees. Put the Alfa Nero on hold and pay your citizens
What is rightfully due to workers, whether it be teachers or nurses cannot be classified as unnecessary demands. Going forward, what government need to do is to ensure that collective agreements are not allowed to fall so woefully behind as happened in the case of the teachers. It is a sign of bad management and bad collective bargaining . All department collective agreements ought to be kept current. As it not stands, government and teachers are now engaged in talks for a collective agreement dating back 2018 to 2022. When that is concluded, teachers are going to expect their backpay immediately which could run the government into millions of dollars and perhaps another round of strikes looming.
Pay the ppl them monies bro. No work no pay so how work get done but money fail to pass. Over the years both parties fighting against each other can’t find a solution better u join and put ideas together smh.
been saying this for years but we the people have the final say tho
Yes, please Hon. PM, tell us into what crisis will the seizure of the yacht, Alfa Nero plunge the country? You nah bin know of the US sanctions on the yacht, and what that would mean ‘pon ur hasty seizure? What next while teachers, nurses, n weekly paid govt. employees suffer?
Well, according to economic theory, increased wages leads to more spending, leading to more money circulating in the local economy, strengthening it. Of course, it might be a challenge to pay back pay all at once so it might have to be done in stages initially. But, in the future they should try to be more consistent so what they need to pay doesn’t accumulate too much.