The Hon Prime Minister says while he should not be held directly responsible for public servants’ dissatisfaction with their salaries he will urgently address those concerns especially those of police, teachers and nurses.
Public servants in varying professions have been disgruntled with the way negotiations have been going for salary increases.
Hon Skerrit has said several times before that while small percentage increases will ease the tensions in the moment, a reclassification of the entire public service is more beneficial in the long term.
He says he hopes to meet with public servants to reach a consensus.
According to Hon Skerrit, the process will begin urgently with teachers, nurses and police since they provide a different service from other government workers.
After his swearing in ceremony on Saturday, he spoke on the subject saying, “A 2%, 5% or even a 10% increase in anybody’s salary at this stage, is not going to address the problem. It might be an emotional thing, but in terms of addressing the core issue, it’s not going to work. I don’t think I can continue taking the blame for things that I have no part to play in. I think that I have a responsibility as Prime Minister for everybody so intend to pay attention to this, so even in the formation of cabinet, that is going to be looked at very seriously.
Prime Minister Skerrit continued, “I think reclassification is the way to go. We can achieve a number of things. One, we can deal with the issue of salary increases through the reclassification exercise; two, you will find that people will move from one tier to the other, upwards. So I’m hoping that soon after the cabinet is sworn in, we can start the process of engaging the public servants, arriving at some kind of understanding. Let’s do the reclassification exercise.”