While stating that legislators don’t determine salaries in the public service, Premier Andrew Fahie has said some supervisors and persons in managerial roles are behind the low wages being paid to government employees.
“I cannot understand why [some of these] persons with certain qualifications are in this [salary] grade … Sometimes it just takes for the person that is over you to be fair to you and put you in the [better and deserving] grade and sign off on it. But some, and only a few, don’t see why persons should get that money. We call them long-hearted in our culture. But they are not always going to be,” the Premier Fahie said during a public discussion on Virgin Gorda on Wednesday night.
Salary review coming
Fahie, who is also Minister of Finance, said his government is now considering to have a salary review within the public service.
He reasoned that government workers will be “enthused to work more” if they are paid more money.
“I have absolutely no problem paying a person or a professional for what they are worth … [A] salary review is important,” he said.
The Premier further said the salary review would result in government employees receiving bonuses if they assist the government in achieving a surplus.
“We can say, ‘you really pushed this year — here is Christmas. Here is this bonus and here is the real salary that we are going to give you’. Because, if you don’t pay people well, they will make sure that you don’t do well and they will make sure that they get their money some other way. It is as simple as that and that encourages ill-advised behaviour in any system which seems to be an issue,” he reasoned.
“We have to come with modernized plans in the public service. We cannot take a 20th-century problem and try to solve it with a 19th-century mentality,” Fahie argued.
His comments follow an argument that several seasoned public servants are being lured to the Recovery and Development Agency, which offers higher salaries.
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