Home / View Point / Labour / Dear Editor: Dr Rowley Govt’s 2% offer is a slap in the face for public sector workers

Dear Editor: Dr Rowley Govt’s 2% offer is a slap in the face for public sector workers

“[…] The mantra of those in authority, who are now offering public sector workers a meagre 2% over an eight-year period, was repeated time after time: ‘We are all in this together.’

“But I wish to remind them of a famous quote which says this: ‘We are not all in the same boat, we are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some have canoes and some are drowning’…”

The following Letter to the Editor, which is a response to the recent offer made by the CPO to public sector workers, was submitted to Wired868 by Bryan St Louis of La Brea:

Photo: Nurses get ready for battle at the NCRHA.
(via NCRHA)

During those difficult times of the rise in Covid-19 cases and related deaths in our beloved Republic, our Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and other members of the head table in the regular media briefings on the status of Covid-19 heaped praises on our frontline workers such as members of the protective services and medical personnel among others for responding selflessly to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

These workers all went beyond the call of duty while still working, in 2020 when the pandemic began, on 2013 salaries. The mantra of those in authority, who are now offering public sector workers a meagre 2% over an eight-year period, was repeated time after time: ‘We are all in this together.’

But I wish to remind them of a famous quote which says this: ‘We are not all in the same boat, we are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some have canoes and some are drowning.’

There is no contradiction!

In or around January 2022, the Prime Minister stated that the many calls from public servants for wage negotiations to begin were not falling on deaf ears as public sector wage increases have already been calculated by the Chief Personnel Officer’s Office. Surely this statement was meant to deceive.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Minister of Finance Colm Imbert.
(via Trinidad Express)

Dr Rowley added that, “A submission will be made by the Minister of Finance to Cabinet by the end of this month. It is expected, therefore, that negotiations can properly commence by March 2022.”

So, members of Cabinet discussed this matter and all apparently agreed with this ridiculous proposal from the office of the CPO?

As an Industrial Relations practitioner for years, I was not fooled by the pronouncements being made on initiatives to address these outstanding negotiations. I am fully aware that once our political system remains as is, working class citizens will continue to struggle to enjoy the fruits of their labour and be properly compensated for the work they do.

In fact, there are many who are still struggling to earn a living wage whilst over the years the cost of living has skyrocketed beyond their means.

Our parliamentarians have once again failed us by not truly representing or championing justice for their constituents.

Photo: Prison guards, all wearing protective masks, salute nurses during the Covid-19 pandemic.
(via TT Prisons)

So, unless those who labour hold the reins of power, the best interests of working class citizens will remain on the back burner since those in office, who believe that they are the owners of the nation, will continue to seek the interest of their financiers and the class they represent, all to the detriment of ordinary working class citizens.

Impishly, the Minister of Finance keeps repeating that we ain’t riot yet over the rise in gas prices. Well, with this uncaring proposal from the CPO, surely that time is now here

It is time for working class unity!

About Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Want to share your thoughts with Wired868? Email us at editor@wired868.com. Please keep your letter between 300 to 600 words and be sure to read it over first for typos and punctuation. We don't publish anonymously unless there is a good reason, such as an obvious threat of harassment or job loss.

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