Indarsingh tells Government: Raise 4% pay offer

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Rudranath Indarsingh

COUVA South MP Rudranath Indarsingh has joined the long list of dissenting voices rejecting government’s latest four per cent offer to the protective services.

“Four must become more,” Indarsingh asserted as he called on the Prime Minister and Finance Minister Colm Imbert, who he said have been hiding behind the CPO, “to wheel and come again.”

Earlier this week, Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Dr Daryl Dindial moved Government’s last offer from 0,0,2,0,0,2 for the period 2014-2019 to four per cent.

The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM), the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) and the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) have expressed disagreement with the proposal.

In a statement on Wednesday, Indarsingh, a former trade unionist said the “measly, paltry, pathetic, uncaring four per cent offer was abominable and insulting.

“It is the epitome of the PNM selfishness, nonchalance, spite and poor economic governance that we have seen over the past seven years.”

He said the protective services and other public-sector workers engaged in negotiations through their representation unions – the Public Services Association (PSA), TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) and the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) – have not received salary increases since 2014.

“This Government and ‘Rowleynomics’ have created an economic hole that has seen the exponential increase in the cost of living through the provocation of higher fuel prices at the pumps, higher food prices, higher utility rates, approaching property taxes, lower job security, less foreign direct investment and the collapse of an affordable and inclusive education.

“This is a government that serves every need of the one per cent, but offers our protective services only four per cent.”

In the midst of firing workers in the state sector, Indarsingh, said more disingenuous are reports that government has hired a former People’s National Movement (PNM) election candidate as a consultant at WASA, which is earmarked for restructuring and the loss of jobs, at a salary of $35,000 a month.

“This comes days after hiring newcomer Khamal Georges at TSTT as a senior manager at a supposed rate of $85,000 per month,” he claimed.

“We must now be worried as to what low-level offers will be made to public officers across the country and their recognised majority unions.

“Clearly, the wealth of this country is not for workers, but for PNM hacks finding favour with the Prime Minister.”

Indarsingh said the Opposition stood in solidarity with the unions and its members called on them “to comprehend how this Government continues to allow the economic oligarchs in this country to prosper, while suffering the lower and middle working class.”