The Labour movement in Grenada has signaled its intention to hold government to its commitment to resolve the long-outstanding issue of pension payments for public officers.
According to President of the Grenada Trade Union Council, Andre Lewis, labour is waiting on a meeting with the Keith Mitchell-led government to discuss the way forward in finding a resolution to the pension matter.
Parliament has been dissolved to pave the way for the March 13 general election and the country is currently being run by a Cabinet of Ministers.
THE NEW TODAY that the meeting between government and representatives of public sector unions was supposed to have been held last week but was pushed back to an unspecified date.
In addressing the Upper House at its last sitting prior to the Dissolution of Parliament, Lewis said that the issue of pension payments for public officers was very important to labour.
“The question of the outstanding pension issue is being placed on the front burner and we want to report progress has been made but we want to hold the Prime Minister to his commitment as he said on the political platform that this matter would be resolved before the upcoming election.
“…We give our commitment as usual to work along with the government to ensure that this pension matter is resolved and there should be a meeting to fast forward the pension issue because we have given a commitment to our people, to the workers that are entitled to these pensionable benefits that we shall deliver.
“…And therefore, we call upon the government to continue the work and to do all that is necessary and we in the Labour movement together with the Royal Grenada Police Force, the Gazette Officers and Welfare Association, Her Majesty’s Prison Welfare Association, the Grenada Union of Teachers, the Technical & Allied Workers Union and the Public Workers Union will do everything that is required in this period.
“…We are in a very fertile period – the ground is very fertile for the growth and the realisation of the pension and we will do everything that is required to ensure that this is a reality. We look forward to resolving this matter.”
Lewis’ reference to the ground being fertile for a resolution of the pension issue is being interpreted as a signal that the unions will use the election period to press the island’s politicians for concessions on the pension issue.
A high court judge had overturn the law that was promulgated by the 1979-83 leftist government of slain Prime Minister Maurice Bishop that denied public officers a pension with the creation of the state-run National Insurance Scheme (NIS).