Government engages church leaders on pension negotiations and industrial climate

Government has been actively engaging church leaders, allowing them an opportunity to share their views on the pension reform negotiations, the industrial climate following recent action taken by teachers and some public officers and the decision by the Cabinet to withhold salaries for the days not worked.

On Wednesday (December 19, 2018), Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell met with leaders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and on Thursday, a similar meeting was held with the leaders of several other denominations including Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist and Pentecostal.

Dr. Mitchell expressed that his Government sees pension as a moral responsibility but any payments made to public workers must not put the rest of the population at risk and must not jeopardise the future sustainable development of the country.

At both meetings, concern was expressed for the well-being of the nation’s students and the potential negative impact of the industrial action on them, not only now, but in the long term as well.

Minister for Education and Religious Affairs, Honourable Emmalin Pierre also met this week with about 40 religious leaders, representing different denominations.

At Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament, Minister Pierre said the religious leaders have committed to give more support to the education sector and she disclosed a commitment by her ministry to hold regular meetings with the church leaders.

“They have a role to play in the development of the education system and of the communities across the tri-island state. Tuesday’s meeting made clear the need to keep the religious community informed; I commend them for the frank discussions we had and I commit my ministry to ongoing engagement in the future,” Minister Pierre stated.

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