By Demion Mc Tair
The Public Service Union – PSU and the SVG Teachers’ Union say they plan to discuss a number of proposals with the government in September, including a 10% salary increase.
The announcement from the PSU comes after Cabinet announced an approval of increase in public transportation fares across the country.
In a release dated August 29, the SVG Public Service Union – PSU said, it and the SVG Teachers’ Union are expected to meet with the Minister of Finance on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, to discuss several proposals they made to the government.
The proposals which were submitted to the government by the Unions on August 23 are “a list of proposed ways to alleviate the burden for workers,” in light of the rising cost of living, the PSU says.
The PSU says:
“We are very much aware of the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the La Soufrière volcanic eruption. Additionally, the war in Ukraine has caused oil prices to skyrocket, which led to increase in transportation and production costs impacting consumers worldwide.”
The PSU says the increased cost of living in SVG by those factors have impacted people’s spending power and standard of living and must be seriously considered when discussing workers’ remuneration.
The list of six items proposed by the unions:
- A salary increase of 10 percent over a period of two years, 4 percent to be given retroactively from January 2022 and 6 percent from January 2023, which both lie below the forecasted GDP growth by ECCB and IMF for the states period.
- Raise the standard deduction for Personal Income Tax from $20,000 to $25,000.
- Temporary reduction of VAT from 16% to 10% iv. Other taxes – temporary reduction of import taxes on essential items, thereby lowering their costs for every individual who imports those items.
Read the other three proposals in the attached press release:
The PSU says, earlier this year, the Ministry of Finance held several Budget Consultation meetings with worker’s organizations and other stakeholders throughout the country, at which a decision was taken to discuss the possibility of salary/wage increases as well as pension reform