ITZ0059

$1,500 Lump Sum in the works after Salary Talks, who will pay?

$1,500 Lump Sum in the works after Salary Talks, who will pay?

ITZ0059

The Government’s negotiating team and this Island’s Labour Unions have reached agreement in the Public Sector wages and salaries negotiations for the period 2022-2025.

Salaries and Wages talks commenced on October 18, 2022, with accredited trade unions and staff associations which represent officers in the Public Sector and State-Owned Enterprises in attendance.

On completion of four rounds of talks, agreement has been reached as outlined below:-

  • A one-off tax free $1500.00 lump sum payment for 2022-2023 for all persons who at March 31 of this year will have been working in the Public Service and in State Owned Enterprises that are dependent on central Government for recurring financial support. Deductions will be made only for NIS for those persons below the maximum insurable earnings ceiling to secure their pension entitlements. For the avoidance of doubt this includes all temporary workers who will be working up to the end of this month.
  • Cumulative salary increases of 3% in 2023-2024 and 3% in the 2024-2025 across the board for all persons working in the Public Service and in State Owned Enterprises that are dependent on central Government for recurring financial support.
  • Cumulative increases in Allowances of 10% for 2022-2023; 3% for 2023-2024 and 3% for 2024-2025 for all persons receiving Allowances who are working in the Public Service and in State Owned Enterprises that are dependent on central Government for recurring financial support.

Those State-Owned Enterprises not relying on central Government for their recurring financial support will be encouraged to conclude any outstanding Wages and Salaries Negotiations in short order.

In addition, to the financial package outlined above, the Parties reached agreement on a number of Non-salaried items, aimed at enhancing the overall employee experience of Public Officers. These non-salaried items include but are not limited to –

  • Creation of 22 posts of Master Teacher for the Education Sector;
  • Creation of 10 posts of Specialist Nurses;
  • Establishment of a Grievance Monitoring Committee to track and resolve Public Sector Grievances to meet monthly;
  • Service wide Regrading and Job Evaluation exercise to be commenced this year;
  • Inclusion of additional posts in the Public Officers Loan and Travel Allowances framework.

It is envisaged that the above initiatives, coupled with the increase in remuneration, will allow for the retention of valuable Public Service skills, upward mobility and the maintenance of harmonious Labour Management relationship in the Public Sector and State-Owned Enterprises.

The Government of Barbados recognizes its employees continue to give dedicated service and make selfless sacrifices. This is notwithstanding all of the challenges that we have faced as a nation over the last 3 years ranging from the extraordinary loss of life, mental stress and national economic decline related to the COVID 19 Pandemic; to the Volcanic Ashfall from La Soufriere; to the Freak Storm and Hurricane Elsa that affected us.

Given these difficult and uncertain times, and in spite of being in an IMF sponsored programme, the Parties regard this is a fair, reasonable and sustainable settlement that recognizes the importance and value of the workers within the public sector.

We thank all parties to the negotiations – the Labour Unions, the representatives of the Public Sector (from the Ministries of Public Service, Labour, Finance and Central Bank) – for the cordial and efficient way in which the negotiations were conducted.

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