Trade unions in Grenada are hopping mad with a sizeable salary increase given in the 2016 budget to the Press Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
A top union official called THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Wednesday to allude to Page 207 of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 2016.
A check made by this newspaper indicated that the salary of Press Secretary Kecia Alexander-Grant who is on contract has moved from $60, 000.00 per year to $72, 000.00.
According to the union official, instructions have been given to its trade union representative in the Senate, Rae Roberts to raise in the Upper House the salary increase given to the Press Secretary in light of the wage freeze on salaries of public officers.
The ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell had asked the island’s three public sector unions to refrain from demanding salary increases over the 3-year period of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
The administration has been advocating a wage freeze as part of measures aimed at cutting expenditure to arrest a fiscal deficit.
The official told that the unions feel “badly let down” by the Mitchell administration who had sought their co-operation on the issue of wage freeze to address Grenada’s financial situation.
“The Press Secretary is not the only one to receive a salary increase (in the 2016 budget) but hers is really glaring because the others did not get anything like what she is getting”, he remarked.
He said the $1000.00 a month increase in salaries given to Alexander-Grant could at least hire another person to be employed in the problem-plagued health sector.
Recently, the Public Workers Union (PWU) ordered nurses and other workers at the island’s two main hospitals to stage a 2-hour work stoppage and protest over better working conditions and the attrition policy as it affected the nursing profession.
Alexander-Grant is known to be affiliated to Hamlet Mark, Senior Advisor on Information to Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Her name was mentioned in a secret document sent by Mark while affiliated to the 2008-13 Congress administration of Tillman Thomas to engage in promotional work for Mitchell’s NNP.
The document indicated that Alexander-Grant was part of a team that could be assembled at quick notice to help the NNP in its bid to unseat Congress from power.
The NNP ended up with a clean sweep of all 15 seats at the polls and Mark and Alexander-Grant immediately took up key positions within the Office of the Prime Minister.