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Agreement on salary increases for teachers

The Government of Grenada and the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) have reached agreement on salary increases for the nation’s teachers. The collective labour agreement which covers the period, 2020-22 was signed last week Wednesday by representatives of Government’s Negotiating Team (GNT) and GUT.

It provides for salary increases of 4% for 2020, 4% for 2021 and 4% for 2022 for teachers which, when compounded, amounts to approximately 12.5%. A government statement said that the agreement was reached after intense but cordial discussions and that both parties expressed satisfaction that the negotiations were conducted amicably.

Head of GNT, Caricom Affairs Minister, Oliver Joseph said that “the agreement reached with the GUT illustrates Government’s willingness to negotiate in good faith.” The GUT’s negotiating team also welcomed the settlement saying it was fair and reasonable in the current economic circumstances.

The GNT revealed that the cost of salary increases amounts to $43.5 million over the 3-year period. In addition to the financial implications of the settlement with the GUT, the GNT noted that Government will see a significant increase in personnel related costs with effect from January, 2020, as the state is expected to pay an additional 1% to the NIS on behalf of each worker.

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The release said: “This effectively amounts to a 5% increase for 2020. Further to this, all retired members of the GUT will have their pension increased by 4% from January 1, 2020. This agreement with the GUT comes at an enormous cost to the taxpayers of the country.

“In fact, to reach agreement while also satisfying the primary expenditure rule which has been yielding tremendous results for the country, Government had to make significant cuts to various service sectors to fund the salary increases”, it added.

In looking ahead at the next negotiating cycle, the GNT emphasised that urgent attention must be paid to increasing productivity in the public service in the face of rising citizens’ demands.

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