Opposition senator and trade unionist Caswell Franklyn has suggested public servants were “sold out” in trade union negotiations that won them a settlement of a five per cent pay increase.
Franklyn, whose Unity Workers’ Union was not part of those negotiations with Government, yesterday claimed the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) had moved from its original demand of a 23 per cent wage hike for the public servants, to four and a half per cent, eventually reaching the final settlement of five per cent, with Government’s addition of the half of a per cent to the Unions’ proposed figure.
“That is to their eternal shame, but they rushed and they did it and every public servant in Barbados knows that they were sold out,” Franklyn told the Senate yesterday during debate on a Resolution to approve the Public Service (General) Order 2018 which approves the payment to public servants across the board, effective from April 1, 2018.
Public servants last sought a wage increase in 2009 and endured an eight-year wage freeze imposed by the previous Freundel Stuart-led Democratic Labour Party administration.
In his presentation to the Senate yesterday, Franklyn said: “Civil servants got together with the NUPW and got into bed with the then Opposition to bring down the then Government.”
The five per cent salary increase will cost the Government $60 million, but Franklyn suggested the unions should have negotiated for an increase in the salaries of workers at the bottom of the scale that was higher than that of those at the top. (GC)