An independent Senator in the Upper House of Parliament is calling for those in public office to engage in self-confession for 2016 and stop treating the citizens with scorn.
“I want to suggest that we declare 2016 ‘The Year of Self-Confession, Repentance and Truth”, Labour Senator Raymond Roberts told a recent sitting of the Upper House of Parliament.
Sen. Roberts believes Grenada needs this to take place in order to cleanse itself as too many Leaders are treating the nation with a scorn by not telling the truth.
He charged that too many of the Leaders on the island are seemingly not bothered with the truth and that the country is becoming a place of who can be flamboyant, who can disguise and who can confuse people.
The Labour Representative also spoke out once again against government’s stated intention to provide Press Secretary Kisha Alexander-Grant with an additional $1,000 to her monthly salary bringing it to $6,000 a month.
According to Sen. Roberts, the labour movement is not in the business of tarnishing anyone’s name, but insisted that it does not want the debate over the increase in salary to Alexander-Grant be lost.
“We, in the workers movement… are fundamentally opposed to that ($1,000) increase. It has nothing to do with what the last government paid people,” he remarked.
At a previous sitting of the Senate, Leader of Government Business, Senator Simon Stiell sought to justify the pay hike being given to Alexander-Grant by saying five people who comprised the support staff of former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas all together received $522,600 per annum.
Sen. Stiell is also quoted as saying that the press Secretary is doing the work of the five persons who were hired under the former Congress administration.
Sen. Roberts reminded the Senate that prior to 2008 when the National Democratic Congress was in government, there were two gentlemen earning in the twenty thousands, and another in the legal department $18,000 under a former Mitchell-led government.
“Whether they were paid by external people or not, it was the Government of Grenada. I don’t think that is a good discussion for us. I think we shouldn’t get involved in people’s personal affairs because the State has a responsibility, including this government, to reward people accordingly, but what we in the labour movement are saying, and I want to make it clear, it has nothing to do with the lady… Our position is that you can’t ask workers, workers and poor people that you love more than anybody else to make sacrifices,” he said.
“Stick with the argument. We are asking the government to withdraw that one thousand dollars a month increase,” he added.
The two high salaried employees that Roberts was referring to were Jamaican attorney-at-law, Hugh Wildman and Richardson Andrew, the Personal Assistant to the Prime Minister.
Wildman’s salary was reportedly met then by the Republic of China on Taiwan, which PM Mitchell dumped in early 2005 to pursue a more lucrative aid package from Mainland China.
The Labour Senator warned that the workers are determined this year to pursue the increments owed to them by government in recent years.
Government employees in Grenada are represented by three bargaining bodies – Public Workers Union (PWU), Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) and the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU).
Of the three unions, TAWU is now considered as closest to Mitchell’s ruling New National Party (NNP) through its leader, Senator Chester Humphrey, the current President of the
Humphrey has publicly stated his commitment to the regime in a so-called ‘Project Grenada” accord along with expelled Congress members Peter David, Joseph Gilbert and Colin La Barrie.