It appears that the three public sector unions in Grenada are moving closer to signing of on an agreement with the Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s on its 3-year Structural Adjustment Programme.
The regime is trying to secure the co-operation of the unions before it signs a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek concessional financing as part of the programme.
The bargaining agents for public sector workers on the island are the Public Workers Union (PWU), Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) and the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU).
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF GRENADA AND THE PUBLIC WORKERS UNION, THE GRENADA UNION OF TEACHERS AND THE GRENADA TECHNICAL AND ALLIED WORKERS UNION.
COVERING THE PERIOD OF STRUCTURL ADJUSTMENT
(JANUARY 1ST, 2014 TO DECEMBER 31ST , 2016)
THIS AGREEMENT is made this ____ day of ¬¬_________________ 2014, between the GOVERNMENT OF GRENADA of the One Part and the PUBLIC WORKERS UNION, the GRENADA UNION OF TEACHERS and the GRENADA TECHNICAL AND ALLIED WORKERS’ UNION, three (3) Trade y Unions duly registered under the Trade Union Laws of Grenada (hereinafter called “THE UNIONS”) of the Other Part.
1. They shall be a deferral of wages and salaries negotiations. This will not include a freeze on Increments which are legally binding nor any adjustments to address inequality of wages and salaries.
2. During the period of the Structural Adjustment there shall be no Retrenchment in the Public Sector.
3. During the period of the Structural Adjustment, Government shall ensure all the necessary systems are in place to collect Personal Income Tax at the legal amounts from the Professional Sector and shall also commit to ensure tax compliance of other self employed persons, service providers and the Business Sector. The Union through the GTUC shall be afforded the opportunity to monitor the tax compliance performance of the Inland Revenue Department.
4. During the period of Adjustment the Government should ensure continuing assessment of Public Assistance Programmes to ensure that there are managed efficiently and effectively so that the assistance reaches those who need it the most.
5. In the event during the three (3) year period of Structural Adjustments the Government affords increases to any of its employees be it permanent, contracted, trainees to include Imanies or any other form of employment, the PWU/GUT/TAWU reserves the right to immediately submit wages and salaries proposals and commence negotiations for the three (3) year period of Adjustment.
6.During the last three (3) months of the Structural Adjustment Program, the Government and Unions will exchange wages and salaries proposals that will be negotiated within six (6) months of receipt.
7.Within the first year of the Structural Adjustment Program, the Government must rationalize the employment of Public Officers to ensure that there are no duplication of officers or other anomalies that bloat the Public Service and shall take no actions that will account for unnecessary additions to the wage bill.
8.(a) The technical team involved in negotiating any agreement with the IMF or other Multi-Lateral Organizations shall have included an appointee recommended by GTUC who shall have the technical competence that is required for such negotiations. Full disclosure of the conditionalities and matters attendant there to shall be made.
(b) The Unions should be informed on the Performance Indicators of the Structural Adjustment Programme so that it can be monitored.
9. During the period of Adjustment, a mechanism must be formulated by the third quarter of 2014 to ensure that disputes referred to the Ministry of Labour shall be addressed with urgency and decisiveness.
10. If during the three (3) year period of the Structural Adjustment Program the above mentioned conditions are not maintained by the Government, the Unions will reconsider any deferral of wages and salaries negotiations that may be agreed on and immediately submit wage proposals for the said period of Structural Adjustment.