By Aaron Humes: The Government is rebutting the arguments of union leaders that the performance bonus option was not fully described to them and does not appear to be a fair and reasonable means of compensating for the loss of 10 percent of salaries and increment freeze for as long as the economy is out of power.
This week, Joint Union leaders stated that they are at risk of getting absolutely nothing if they do not contribute to overperforming selected targets for fiscal deficits and surpluses, and that in truth they do not control the levers of economic power if they cannot keep the Ministers’ and cronies’ fingers out of the pie.
Minister of Education and member of the Government negotiating team Francis Fonseca described the terms this way: “…the government is saying to the unions lets work together, where we over performed on those targets, for example this year the target in the primary budget is a minus 2.9% deficit, that’s the target. If we overperform on that for example if we have a 1.9% primary deficit then that 1% over performance will yield something like 35 million dollars and the government is prepared then to make that 35 million dollars available to public officers and teachers who have been affected by the salary cut on a pro-rata basis. That I think is absolutely reasonable, it’s fair, it’s the best that the government can do at this time.”
He added, “Let’s work together to ensure the strong recovery of this economy. Let us put our minds and hearts together to recover this economy and if we do that then the teachers and public officers benefit directly and of course the entire country benefits.”
The Government has primarily responded to two of the eleven points raised by the Joint Unions, who also want responses to the other nine.