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Saunders: Salary adjustment not due to Duke’s negotiating skills

By JANELLE DESOUZA Thursday, January 10 2013

The salary adjustment for monthly paid workers announced by Public Service Association (PSA) president, Watson Duke, in December had nothing to do with his negotiation skills, but was due to a Personnel Department Circular from 1979.

So said Oral Saunders, general secretary of the PSA yesterday, who revealed that Personnel Department Circular No 4 from 1979, was an arrangement made between the Chief Personnel Officer and the PSA executives at the time, allowing for “irregularities in pay of monthly paid supervisors, resulting from pay increases granted to daily rated employees.”

Saunders explained the circular was applied when, after salary negotiations, daily paid workers received a higher salary than their monthly paid supervisors.

It allowed monthly paid officers, who were under the PSA, to receive a salary increase, so that persons whom they supervised did not earn more than their superiors.

The anomaly occurred when, in August 2012, the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) agreed upon a nine percent wage increase for daily paid workers, after the PSA agreed to five percent for monthly paid workers in August 2011.

Saunders thanked the Oil Field Workers’ Trade Union for shattering the seeming five percent wage cap set by the Government, as well as the leader of NUGFW, Senator James Lambert, for accepting nine percent for daily rated workers. “It is because of them getting nine percent, the pay disparity and the anomaly came into being.”

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