The Government of Grenada and the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) have signed a collective agreement that will see teachers receiving a 13% salary increase and fringe benefits over three (3) years.
Both parties inked the agreement, which covers the period 2023-25, during a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Works Conference room at the Botanical Gardens in St. George’s on Wednesday.
Under the deal, teachers would get a 4% increase this year, another 4% in 2024, and 5% in 2025.
GUT President Jude Bartholomew noted the historic nature of the agreement, which was reached approximately five (5) months after negotiations started last December.
“I just want to put on record here… it’s a historic moment that we should appreciate and recognise,” said Bartholomew.
The GUT boss recalled that over the years the union along with others had to often take to street protest and demonstrations, and frequent interventions and Mediation by the Labour Commissioner on the issue of salary increases.
In recognition of the good faith gesture from the new 9-month old Congress administration, Bartholomew called on teachers to beef up productivity levels.
“I just want to call on our members to step up on their productivity levels… it’s one thing to get salary increases and all those things, but the money is coming from the state and while we get to the resources and the increases and other things it is responsible of us to really call on our members and all public servants in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to work together to develop our tri-island state,” he remarked.
This is the first collective agreement on salary increases to be signed between the new Congress administration and trade unions on the island.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell who was part of the signing ceremony has urged the other trade unions to follow the footsteps of the GUT in coming to speedy terms with the government in concluding the negotiations.”
“…It’s important because we are moving to bi-monthly payments on April 15 and we would certainly want to be in a position where all government workers, all public sector workers are employed by the state (and) in fact benefit from the increases in the salaries immediately so that we don’t have to deal with the complications and do the administrative task of retroactive payments,” he said.
Over the years, the Public Workers Union and the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) have settled with the government on virtually the same terms and conditions as GUT.
The bargaining bodies for police officers and prison officers had reportedly signed 4% agreements on salary increases with the former Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government that was replaced by Congress following the June 23, 2022 general election.