Union protests exclusion of cost of living from draft 2012 budget

POSTED: 11/30/11 7:14 AM

GREAT BAY – The Windward Island Teachers Union has protested a decision by the Council of Ministers not to include paying a 3.2 percent Cost of Living Adjustment in the draft budget for 2012. The union learned of the exclusion in a recent letter from the Minister of Finance to the Consultation Body for Civil Servants (GOA) that also includes an invitation to discuss “other ways and means to get this adjustment done without this being a financial burden.”
“We received a letter which indicated that the payout of the cost of living adjustment would be available pending the approval of the budget of 2012 but they would not have announced it to the schools. However, to our disappointment and dissatisfaction to our members we will not receive the adjustment,” the union leader said.
Elshot plans to request a meeting of the GOA and her union to discuss this matter further so they can come to a strategy. In the meantime she’s publicly launched a protest in which she explains that residents – teachers included – continue to deal with, amongst other things, high utility costs.
“If you look at your GEBE bill where it regards water and electricity, up to now we are still waiting for the much promised relief that was due since October this year. It is impossible that they will take off the buffer in terms of my salary which is a buffer of the cost of living which will allow me purchasing power which will be spent back in the economy to make my living a little more comfortable by keeping it at the same level, and that too is being taken away would you believe that this is being taken away by the Council of Ministers? I don’t understand that since the prices have all gone through the roof,” Elshot said.

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