Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley on Sunday accused the Freundel Stuart administration of playing “political football” with the island’s public servants.
Speaking at a mass canvas in St Peter, Mottley said Stuart was purposely withholding the pay increase demanded by the island’s trade unions – National Union of Public Workers, Barbados Workers Union, the Barbados Secondary Teachers Union and the Barbados Union of Teachers.
“This Government has got to stop playing political football with the public servants of Barbados,” she said.
“If the public servants deserve the pay increase, as we believe that they do, give it to them. And if you feel you can’t give them a full pay increase because you need more negotiations, at the very least give them a cost of living allowance, a coping subsidy.”
Following the announcement of the pending increase of the National Social Responsibility Levy, the trade unions called for an immediate pay increase to sustain the blow that the tax would have on the island’s economy.
However, their demands were subsequently rejected by the Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler during the August National Social Partnership meeting that also included the Barbados Private Sector.
Mottley said the Democratic Labour Party is holding back on their decision until the eve of the general election.
“This notion that you can get around to it when you feel like getting around to it or when you are good and ready is unacceptable and if you are doing it because you feel you can treat them as a final score, that you can use this as the thing to give you three points … in the political run up to the election, by giving them a pay increase just on the eve of the election, I say to you stop it!,” Mottley said.
“. . . give them the pay increase that they deserve and is long overdue.”
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