Prison officers and fire officers will soon receive $184 million in back pay.
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, made the revelation during Monday’s sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives in reply to questions by Naparima MP Rodney Charles.
Hinds said the back pay was in line with Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s announcement during his budget presentation, where he promised $1 billion in backpay for Christmas for 37,000 public employees whose unions had settled with the Chief Personnel Officer for a retroactive four per cent pay rise.
“They will be paid and paid promptly,” Hinds said.
According to the Ministry of National Security draft estimates for recurrent expenditure, the allocation to the fire service for salaries and COLA jumped from $302 million last year (out of an initial estimated $306 million) to $394 million this year.
The prison service allocation moved from an initially planned allocation of $450 million last year to $425 million, to $517 million this year.
The budget document also showed a whopping $290 million increase in the salary allocation for the police service, from $1.07 billion allocated last year to a planned $1.36 billion for this year. Police were allocated $59 million more in overtime and $52 million more in allowances.
For the regiment, the salaries (direct charges) leapt from an initial estimate of $370 million to a revised estimate of $474 million last year when wage talks were settled, with this year’s allocation being $394 million. Also, allowances (direct charges) jumped from $144 million to $216 million last year to $175 million this year.