The political reality of these public service negotiations lies in the fact that Mr. Duke is a political enemy of the current government and wants to become the next Prime Minister. Will this government or any government join a 120.4 per cent pay increase to make Mr. Duke politically attractive for the next election? Is Mr. Duke negotiating in good faith on behalf of public servants or is it a political strategy to prevent an agreement between the two parties? The theme of the negotiations used by Mr. Duke is “living wage” to seek the support of PSA members and the broader public service for the 2014-2016 rate period. For this letter, we will try to reject the experience of public servants who protested by the thousands on the streets of the capital against the assumption of a 5% increase in 2010, finally accepted and approved by Mr. Duke. Mr. Duke`s usual attack on pre-hearing will be to accuse me and other logical officials of being political. If Ms. Kamla Persad-Bissessar forms the next government, how will she deal with a 120.4% increase in public staff and, therefore, teachers, day-to-day paid workers, police officers, firefighters and prison officers, etc., who will likely waive similar demands if Mr.
Duke meets his requirements? 83 wage negotiations have been settled and more along the way. Its strategy, if successful, will likely result in an increase in borrowing to cover our recurring expenses. It is at this rate that our country will eventually find itself at the door of the IMF (International Monetary Fund). My experience with the austerity measures taken by international credit agencies in the late 1980s and early 1990s is that they first attacked the public service. I fear that this strategy will lead to wage cuts, massive cuts for temporary and contract workers in the central public service, wasA (Water and Wastewater Agency) and other state-owned enterprises. This government has repeatedly pledged to commit to work and workers. The People`s Partnership Government has promised to put workers at the centre of its concerns, as indicated in its manifesto, and has insisted that about 83 wage disputes have been resolved since it took office in 2010. Mr. Duke is asking that his livelihood for public servants start at $10,000 for the lowest category of public service workers, which is the four-tier. Currently, an entrant to the pay scale receives at least $4,537. The difference between the previous figures is 5,463 USD.
In other words, Mr. Duke is demanding a 120.4 per cent pay increase from the government for public servants. Is this increase sustainable for our economy, when oil and gas prices are currently being repressed? In 2008, the new PSA developed a unique approach to negotiation. Instead of isolating the subjects and dealing with them one after the other, we have bypassed political and institutional delays by putting everything on the table at the same time. We have had measurable and unprecedented success with huge benefits for our membership.