ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, September 6, 2012 – Government workers who were thrown into turmoil last week after their pay day came and passed without sight of their wages and salaries have had their situation rectified by the Tillman Thomas administration.
From Tuesday (September 3), thousands of Grenadian government workers started to receive their August salaries, with the assurance provided by the Ministry of Finance that all outstanding payments would be resolved this week.
Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, in an interview with reporters Monday, apologized to public officers for the late salaries and said the ministry of finance should have been more "forthcoming'' about the payment problem.
There are reports that the prime minister and his cabinet colleagues were unaware – like the rest of the public service – that salaries would not be paid on the scheduled date last week.
Wages and salaries for Grenada’s more than 5,000 public officers amount to over EC$20 million.
While government has not disclosed how it has now been able to meet the shortfall, media reports have cited sources that say the money was sourced from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
The embattled Prime Minister Thomas has faced tacit criticism from within his own party over the latest incident. Arley Gill, Public Relations Officer of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said that Prime Minister Thomas and the finance minister ought “to take on board suggestions on easing the economic burden of citizens from the broad membership of the party.’’
Thomas is head of the NDC and Burke is the party’s deputy leader.
A statement issued by the party on Tuesday quotes Gill, a former senator who served as Minister of Information and Culture, as saying that “the NDC empathizes with Grenadians who tell us, for example, of the stress and strain they experience when there is a late payment of monthly salaries; or when they have to send their children back to university overseas without having received the disbursement of the stipend from government." Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)