Elshot: premature to revamp cost of living adjustmentsPOSTED: 07/13/12 11:50 AM
St. Maarten - The Windward Islands Teachers Union (Witu) does not agree with Finance Minister Tuitt that the current cost of living adjustment payments to civil servants are not sustainable in the long run. Witu-President Claire Elshot said yesterday that she had attended a meeting with Finance Minister Roland Tuitt earlier this week with some reservation after learning that there had already been a meeting with another union – the Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/Private Sector Union (Wicsu/Psu).
“Why did this have to be done separately,” Elshot wondered.
Elshot noted that the payment of the cost of living adjustment is “not a matter of funds but a matter of procedure,”
As Tuitt announced on Wednesday, the Advisory Council will have to give an advice about several budget amendments that then have to be approved by parliament. Payment at the end of this month could still be a problem though. Elshot noted that the payrolls already close off on the 12th of the month and that moment has already passed.
“The minister has also asked us to look at a different system. He claims that the current system is not sustainable in the long run. I disagree with the minister.”
Elshot explained that a couple of years ago kindergarten school teachers and school managers received a significant pay rise when the salary scales were adjusted and that other teachers would receive a more gradual compensation through annual steps and through cost of living adjustment payments.
“We find it premature to revamp this system without looking at the whole salary structure. I do not feel that this is unaffordable for the government,” Elshot said.