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GUT: “We deserve our 4% increase”

File photo of teachers carrying the GUT banner during a protest in St. George’s

The Grenada Union of Teachers is quite disappointed with the recent pronouncement by the Government of Grenada as it relates to the 4% increase due to our teachers.

We are quite aware of the challenges faced by Government regarding the generating of revenue and in a recent statement the Government of Grenada outlined reasons why its revenue collection has been down.

Be that as it may, it is the same Government that was able to find $200 million dollars to buy back a company that in most part has been serving Grenadians well over the past twenty (20) years.

Using Government’s own figures, let us compare $13 million a year that is owed to workers; to approximately $200 million which was used to buy back GRENLEC. It will take fifteen (15) years of paying that $13 million to make up the $200 million that was used to ensure the deal happened. So indeed equating the two seems unreasonable as postulated by the Government.

The buyback makes the 4% increase look like a needle in a haystack! How unreasonable! Even more unreasonable is the fact that the Prime Minister is suggesting that Public Workers are unreasonable in their demands. We are not demanding anything but rather expecting what was signed and agreed upon.

Before GRENLEC was bought back there was the unemployed, the unfortunate single mothers and the poor and vulnerable. If the $200 million dollars was used as a stimulus package for the population then each vulnerable person could have received at least $2000. Instead of spending money on these people the Government saw it fit to spend the vast amount of money in its disposal on GRENLEC.

It is rather unfortunate that the Government will bring up structural adjustment and laying off of workers again. Would 13 million dollars a year throw the economy into a tailspin? Would an increase of approximately 1.1 million dollars a month cause workers to end up on the breadline? A caring Government who just found $200 million will never allow this to happen!

Our workers deserve to be appreciated. Since 2013, our teachers have been keeping the economy afloat by paying additional taxes.

Do you think that the entire 13 million dollars will go entirely into the pocket of workers? A worker who gets a $50 increase can see at least $10 to $15 going into taxes that keeps the economy afloat, Out of this $13 million at least 2 to 3 million will be put back into the economy through taxes alone.

These workers are the ones who will put the money into the economy stimulating business and keeping the economy striving. They are the ones who will ensure that the local money circulates thus keeping business alive and the economy booming. The workers do not have the ability to pull money from underneath a mattress to make purchases. It is their monthly salaries that keep them afloat.

Workers are the electricity that keeps the country moving!

Workers are the electricity that powers the economy!

Workers are the electricity that brightens the end of month putting smiles on the faces of vendors and farmers!

Invest in your workers as you were able to invest in GRENLEC!

As it stands now the Union awaits the upcoming payday as members anticipate the 4% increase in salary. Stand firm teachers!

We await our 4% increase and also the 1.9 million dollars that was docked from our salaries. We deserve it!

Long Live the Trade Union movement!

Long Live the GUT!

Let’s stand in Unity!

Long Live!

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