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Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell (Photo: CARICOM Today)

Gov’t of Grenada promises public servants salary increase as revenues rise

Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell (Photo: CARICOM Today)

Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell has revealed that the Ministry of Finance will make the necessary increase adjustments to the salary of public servants for August 2021, just seven months after it had become due.

“Not only teachers, but every single public servant will get their salary increase. [They will receive] EC$1.2 million in addition to what their salaries are,” he said at the handover ceremony of a pre-school in his constituency, St George’s Northwest, last Friday.

The Eastern Caribbean’s common currency (File photo)

“They will be getting that right on until the end of the agreement in 2022,” he added.

The Government of Grenada had initially proposed to trade unions that public officers accept bonds at an interest rate of three per cent instead of cash. However, with both parties yet to reach a final decision, trade unions are of the view that the offer is still under negotiation.

Prior to this, the Government had written to the unions requesting a deferral for the salary increase due in January 2021 because of the reduction in revenue.

“They will be getting that [EC$1.2 million] right on until the end of the agreement in 2022”

— Dr Keith Mitchell, prime minister, Grenada

At that time, it noted that the various mechanisms put in place to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 — including a state of emergency with a curfew as well as locking down the country from international commercial passenger traffic between March and June 2020 — had resulted in reduced revenue.

Notwithstanding, the unions objected and since then, various ongoing industrial actions such as protest marches and vigil demanding the increase to their salaries have occurred.

Tax revenues on the rise

At the event, Prime Minister Mitchell said that in recent months revenue has been steadily increasing and he does not expect payment to be disrupted until the conclusion of the current collective agreement which expires in 2022.

Grenada’s Inland Revenue Division (File photo)

Moreover, a review of the fiscal reports from the Ministry of Finance for the period March to May 2021 has revealed that revenue collection has consistently increased.For May 2021, current revenue totalled EC $57.7 million, which was EC $3.2 million more than the May 2021 target, and EC$11.1 million more than the collections for May 2020.

As at April 2021, current revenue reached EC$57.8 million — $8.2m more than the April 2021 target and ec$13.2 million more than the collections for April 2020.

In March this year, revenue hit EC$69.4 million, or $9.3 million more than the March 2021 target and $0.5m more than the collections for March 2020.