General secretary of the National Union of Public Workers’ (NUPW), Dennis Clarke, has expressed concern about the status of ex-gratia payments, gratuity and pensions for temporary workers retrenched in Government’s fiscal consolidation exercise which began at the end of last month.
In a statement released to the media this afternoon, he noted that talks had been held with the Ministry of the Civil Service as recent as Tuesday this week, to discuss the contents of the letters of termination of services which had been sent to temporary workers.
“[T]he letters referred to the end date of the temporary workers appointment, notice of the termination and severance as a reward for the years served . . . the letters did not mention anything of the ex-gratia payments, gratuity and pensions for which the retrenched offices qualified,” it stated.
Clarke, meanwhile, noted that the meeting was able to bring clarity to the situation and would see those officers who qualified for these payment not being disadvantaged, despite having been granted severance payments as a benefit.
“The ex-gratia payments would be stored and paid at retirement age. This decision by Government is based in the Caribbean Court of Justice decision in the matter of Winston Campbell vs The Attorney General of Barbados. The NUPW is [however] currently examining the discussion with the view of having it overturned,” the statement further said, likening the situation to one where the government had the right to “eat its cake and have it too”.