The coalition has reportedly announced a unilateral wage increase for public servants, completely ignoring the submissions of the public service unions. This is as bad as what obtained under the PPP, and not anything public servants voted for in 2015. It should be remembered here that public servants’ depressed welfare was a direct result of ill-advised policies going back to the ʼ80s. In light of this, it is incumbent on government to address and develop solutions to the burning public servants’ wages issue. The public service unions are advised to approach the bargaining table with the following:
- A living wage for the lowest paid public servant. For example, a cleaner should be able to live comfortably with a gross salary of $146,000/mth.
- Use this figure to adjust the salaries of all other public servants upwards, excluding ministers and all those who benefited under the government’s 50% increase a couple of years back.
- Decide an appropriate time-frame, say 3 or 5 years, over which the unions would like to have the full value of the living wage paid, and based on this period, obtain the annual rate increase over the next three to five years.
- The value of the living wage of $146,000/mth will be adjusted annually for inflation.