Thousands upon thousands of members are turning to their unions in hope of getting word of successful salary negotiations. Public servants are getting angrier, impatient, and more frustrated as they are pushed more and more to poverty as prices of goods and services continue to increase, yet salaries remain stagnant. Inflation continues to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, yet salaries can’t be negotiated. The Public Services Association (PSA), after having successfully negotiated 9% salary increases for the workers of the National Insurance Board on 26, October 2020, has now been forced to legally fight for what was already legitimately negotiated for NIB workers.
The PSA, represented by Chairman of the NIB Section, Kellon Wallace, has since legally fought for the increases owed to workers, by filing an Industrial Relations Offence (IRO) in the Industrial Court in March and a Trade Dispute at the Ministry of Labour (MOL). Wallace, who also holds the position of an Executive Member of the PSA, has stated that the government is maliciously engaging in delaying schemes that only further prolong the payments of the salary increases. He said that in an instant and with one stroke of a pen, the Minister of Finance, Colm Imbert, could have the increases paid. Instead, according to Wallace, Imbert along with NIB’s higher authorities are resolute on withholding legally negotiated salary increases.
Wallace shared that the issue which has already been recognized by the MOL as a dispute has been challenged by NIBTT’s lawyer. He said that the NIBTT lawyer wrote the Industrial Court for a determination on the matter. This, Wallace said was the pinnacle of delaying the already exasperated matter.
Wallace stated that the government continued to expect persons to live ‘hand to mouth’ when monies have already been allocated to pay them. He encouraged workers to remain persistent and unwavering against the tactics that are being used to discourage and dissuade employees.