The President General of the Grenada technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Andre Lewis, Wednesday described the government’s new offer on pension and gratuity to returning public workers as ‘worse than what was offered before”.
Lewis, who is also the Labour movement representative in the Senate, said while he was unable to share the details of the new offer “government offer is worse than what was offered before”.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell said he remained confident that an agreement would be reached with the trade unions regarding the payment of the pension and gratuity.
The unions, including the Public Workers Union (PWU) are seeking a 25 per cent wage payment, but the government has said that it cannot meet such an increase, offering instead a two per cent hike.
Lewis, who was making his contribution to the debate on the 2019 national budget, sought to give the assurance that the unions would be attending Friday’s meeting to continue negotiations for an acceptable package for retiring establish public officers.
“We are looking forward to resolving this matter,” he told the Senate.
The Pension Engagement Committee and the labour unions along with staff associations representing public officers are at a stalemate over gratuity and pension packages.
Since November 5 public officers have engaged in sporadic industrial protest that resulted in workers either embarking on work to rule or taking to the streets in support of their unions’ demands.
The new gratuity offer was presented on December 4th and Mitchell has continuously warned paying the 25 per cent gratuity would cripple the country financially and this will cause the country to lose millions in grant.
Another Senator, Winston Garraway said the government’s two per cent offer of gratuity is an advancement that has to be repaid, “so the two per cent provides for more to be provided in the long term”.