JTUM tells PM: Take 4 per cent – not a cent more

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

JTUM president Ancel Roget –

IF politicians are insisting on a wage hike, then they must take the four per cent they offered to public sector workers, and not a cent more.

“You don’t deserve more than four per cent,” Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) president, Ancel Roget said on February 19.

If there is insistence, he suggested then maybe it is time law-abiding and right-thinking citizens take action.

During a news conference at TTUTA’s Educational Centre, Carlsen Field, Chaguanas, Roget said the government must not take silence for contentment.

“This Prime Minister must know it is a silent scream; it is a silent scream for survival, it is a silent scream of disgust, silent scream of the pain people in this country are feeling. People can no longer make ends meet against this high rate of cost of living – inflation.”

Yet, he said, the Finance Minister could stand in the Parliament and read the Salaries Review Commission (SRC) report with a straight face. He said the government members believe they are more equal than the workers who turn the wheels of the economy.

Roget, joined by leaders representing teachers, fire, police and prison officers, postal workers, sanitation and daily paid workers among others, who settled for four per cent, demanded that the SRC recommendation for between 15 to 40 per cent increase for politicians, not be implemented.

If they must have an adjustment, Roget said, “disregard this disrespectful and highly obnoxious and outrageous report of the SRC.

“If anything at all, the Prime Minister, and ministers and all of Cabinet must also receive four per cent. It can’t be ‘hototo’ for them and nothing for workers.”

However, he insisted that any adjustment must come only after all outstanding payment and back pay for retired teachers and members whose leave were bought out are settled.

He called for settlement of all outstanding money to all categories of fire, police and prison officers; implementation of job evaluation exercise for postal workers; re classification and job evaluation for sanitation workers, daily rated workers in the San Fernando City Corporation; and confirmation of temporary nurses.

He added, “All of those who contributed to the success of 2024 Carnival. We demand allyuh pay masqueraders, band leaders, wire benders, pan players, calypsonians; we demand they get their money before any adjustment is made to the parliamentarians’ salaries.”