Barbados worker's union proposals 'do not go far enough' – Sinckler

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday December 30, 2013, CMC – Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Chris Sinckler says the proposals outlined by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) to save the jobs of public servants do not go far enough.

Over the last weekend, the NUPW submitted a 10 point proposal to the authorities for consideration as it sought to avert plans by the government to cut an estimated 3,000 public sector jobs in the new year.

The union is calling for a reduction in the Value Added Tax (VAT) as well as a 30 per cent cut in the salaries of government ministers.

The NUPW, which represents the majority of the 28,000 public servants, said that it had also submitted proposals calling on the government to consider the re-introduction of bus fares for school children as part of the new economic strategy to revive the ailing economy

But Sinckler told the Daily Nation newspaper Monday that while the proposals were “interesting” they would not achieve the objectives of the Freundell Stuart government’s plans to put the economy on a strong footing.

Sinckler told the newspaper that the 10 point proposals had “some interesting ideas but it will not get us where we have to go”.

Earlier this month, Sinckler said that the plan to cut public service jobs would result in the government saving as much as BDS$143 million (One BDS dollar = US$0.50 cents) and that the government had also agreed to institute a “strict programme of attrition” across the central public service, filling posts only where it is absolutely unavoidable, over the next five years, ending 2018-2019.

The government said that the first 2 000 job cuts would take place by January 15, followed by others by March 1. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)