Duke tells public servants: Don’t vote

Pres­i­dent of the Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion Wat­son Duke is urg­ing pub­lic ser­vants who have not re­ceived a pay in­crease since 2013, par­tic­u­lar­ly those who sup­port the rul­ing Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment not to vote in the up­com­ing Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions.

At a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, the out­go­ing PSA pres­i­dent ex­pressed dis­may that de­spite the Gov­ern­ment mak­ing an­nounce­ments for pay in­creas­es for min­i­mum wage work­ers, on the job trainees and CEPEP and Un­em­ploy­ment Re­lief Pro­gramme par­tic­i­pants, there had been no in­crease tabled for pub­lic ser­vants.

“The min­is­ter finds it quite com­fort­able to say On the Job Train­ing per­sons would be giv­en a 10 per cent in­crease in salary and they in­tend to take on an ad­di­tion­al 8,000 per­sons. We say hap­py, we are glad. Take on more per­sons, pay them more mon­ey they de­serve to be paid more. OJT they have no union fight­ing for them, they are of­ten­times ad­van­taged so we are hap­py they are get­ting some­thing,” said Duke.

He added: “Why is it that this PNM Gov­ern­ment can­not get the met­ric right and un­der­stand the civ­il servers of this coun­try. The pub­lic servers of this coun­try, The Po­lice (Ser­vice) the Fire (Ser­vice), the WASA, the T&TEC, the Air­port Au­thor­i­ty, Civ­il Avi­a­tion, Agri­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment Bank. Every sin­gle work­er in this coun­try de­serves an in­crease. And you can’t start with just OJT, CEPEP, Min­i­mum, URP and just leave the rest.”

“They are fix­ing every­body else but the main es­sen­tial ser­vice they are not fix­ing,” said Duke at the con­fer­ence at the PSA build­ing in Port-of-Spain.

“With one month and a lit­tle bit to go, six years, all of 2019. They would have giv­en us no in­crease and they al­lowed the mon­ey for pub­lic of­fi­cers which was stand­ing at some 100 per cent pur­chas­ing pow­er in De­cem­ber 2013 to now re­gressed. It has now re­gressed by some 30 per cent. Or more, some 30 per cent it has re­gressed to and the gov­ern­ment is say­ing to us they have noth­ing to say on this mat­ter. They are com­plete­ly silent, said Duke.

Duke said he was hap­py the oth­er groups got in­creas­es in the bud­get, par­tic­u­lar­ly the OJT group, but was sur­prised that with the an­nounce­ment of these in­creas­es, there was no talk of an ad­just­ment for pub­lic ser­vants.


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