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Prioritise public workers urges McDowall

Amanda Lynch-Foster

Prioritise public workers urges McDowall

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Prioritise public workers!

President of the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) Akanni McDowall, made this plea to government this morning during his presentation on how a coping subsidy proposed by trade unions, would work.

Speaking during the open section for Issues of Concern, McDowall explained that the NUPW had based their request on information from the International Monetary Fund’s which calculated that inflation in Barbados would rise by 6.7% by year end.

Based on this, they said they were proposing a 5% coping subsidy for public workers who he said constituted a “special group” as they have not had a salary increase in nearly a decade.

He stressed that when salary negotiations were completed they proposed that the coping subsidy would  end.

McDowall stated that the coping subsidy would cost government $68.3 million or “less than 1% of GDP.”

Acknowledging that others would query where the sum would come from to pay the coping subsidy, he pointed out that “government has chosen to look at certain sectors to give concessions” including the tourism industry and international business.

“All we are asking of government is to treat workers as a priority,” appealed McDowall, adding that government should look at all of its various expenditure measures and “see whether labour is important.”