Finance Minister assures that Gov’t will look deeper into the issue of salaries and benefits for independent contract workers
Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has sought to assure that the Government will look deeper into the issue of salaries and benefits for independent contract workers, as a whole, not just security guards.
However, this in-depth examination will take place after the Government concludes the restructuring of the public sector.
The matter was raised yesterday (November 8), by Opposition Spokesperson on Labour, Dr Angela Brown Burke, who cited the recent court ruling that security guards are employees.
Dr Brown Burke noted that the Government employs about 60% of private security guard service, and also employs services from other contract workers who would fall under a situation similar to the guards.
She wanted to know if the Government has made an allocation for the expected increase in costs to hire guards.
She was reacting to Dr Clarke’s presentation to the Lower House, as he sought to have the supplementary estimates, with an increase of $60 billion dollars to the budget, referred to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee.
Dr Clarke said the Government must be very strategic in how it approached the problem.
He assured that the guards will be involved in the discussions.
In relation to the public sector compensation review programme, Dr Clarke said discussions with trade unions and bargaining groups are ongoing.
He was responding to questions posed by Opposition Spokesman on Finance Julian Robinson, who was concerned about speculation and anxiety among workers, due to a lack of information about the status of the negotiations.
Dr Clarke said trade union leaders should update their members, and stressed the need to complete negotiations soon so that payments can be made within this fiscal year.
The Minister also urged Parliamentarians, Councillors and local authorities to be patient, as discussions with them about how the restructuring will impact their salaries, will be held after discussions with citizens are done.