Unions sound alarm over pay cut ‘by another name’

by Kareem Smith May 16, 2020, http://www.barbadostoday.bb

General Secretary of the Unity Workers’ Union and Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn condemns the government’s proposed salary cut

Trade union leaders have already started comparing a proposal for “forced savings” in the public sector with the eight per cent salary cuts rolled out by the Erskine Sandiford administration in 1991 as they await further details next week.

General Secretary of the Unity Workers’ Union Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn and his contemporary in the National Union of Public Workers, Delcia Burke in separate interviews indicated that the imposition of salary cuts on the meager salaries of most public servants could have disastrous consequences.

In fact, Franklyn has even accused Prime Minister Mia Mottley of opening the door for private sector employers to cut salaries with impunity.

“Civil servants are at the baller. They are at their limit and most of them cannot afford any cuts whatsoever. Many have mortgages and all kinds of bills to pay, even for their cars,” Franklyn told Barbados TODAY.

“Some of them barely have enough money to take them through the month and this is not unknown to the Government, because in 1991, when Sandiford did the eight per cent cut, it wiped out people’s take-home pay. People were taking home less than eight per cent of their salaries prior and when they took eight per cent out, people had no money. The same can be said today,” he argued.

Prime Minister Mottley yesterday floated a Government proposal to have an undisclosed percentage of salaries invested in bonds to be redeemed at a later date. This matter, she indicated, had come up during a meeting of the social partnership convened yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

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