On the heels of a press conference, in which the Finance Minister announced that Government cannot afford to pay significant wage hikes, head of the Public Services Association Watson Duke is calling for just that – a hike in wages for public servants.
Duke, speaking at the PSA headquarters in Port of Spain on Thursday, said “Salaries are based not on what the Government could afford, but on what workers need.” And, he accused the finance minister of “thrusting his fist into the faces of workers,” alleging the minister was using bullying tactics and looking for a fight.
Duke claims that approximately 300,000 workers were living on yesteryear’s wages, with increases owed for the past eight years, from 2014-2021, and in some cases as far back as 2011.
As such, he is calling on the Government to restore the value (purchasing power) of salaries to their 2014 levels.
Duke said “Every single worker is working for -20 per cent and it’s time for that -20 per cent to start going back up.”
Duke said he had last met the CPO in February/March 2020 and he is now demanding that the finance minister give the CPO instructions to meet with him and his team in the first week of March.