Thursday, August 6, 2020

COVID-19 sparks confusion over civil service salary increases

There was confusion this week over whether government will increase public service salaries for the financial year 2020/21 or freeze them because of the COVID-19 crisis. In a savingram released last week, government raised a flag that it could not afford public service salary increases for 2020/21 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The salary adjustments had been negotiated with public service unions in 2019.

“Officers are informed that Government has directed that processing of salaries adjustments be in abeyance until further notice.”

The communication however assured that this did not mean the increase will not be paid, saying they will be authorised at a later date when the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development advices according to the country’s financial outlook.The government and unions  agreed in 2019 that employees who fall under A and B grades would be awarded a 10 percent salary increment for both financial years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

Employees who fall under C and D grades would also be awarded a 6 percent salary increase for both financial years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. At the time of going to press there had been another government communication indicating that the initial savingram be withdrawn. It was not clear if the government had reversed the decision to suspend the increments.

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Sunday Standard August 2 – 8

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 2 - 8, 2020.