Public sector wage and pension negotiations between governments and trade unions have been billed a major deciding factor for the success of efforts to grow and stabilise the economies of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.
OECS heads of governments have decided to convene a meeting between all eight members of the Monetary Council and public sector trade unions to discuss the region’s delicate fiscal position and the implications of wage and pension negotiations in the coming years.
Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Monitory Council and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Dr. Kenny D Anthony says such discussions are critical as economic growth in the OECS is forecast to be anaemic over the next few years.
“With wages and pensions forming such a large part of government’s expenditure it is now vital that there is common ground on those issues. We will also need to be very frank and open with the trade unions and public associations across the region to help them understand even better the real challenges and issues that we face because the nature of the adjustments that are required as we move forward are serious and will require understanding among and between all parties involved.”
Dr. Anthony says while government agree to embark on various initiatives to stabilise and grow the region’s economies, the true success is based on the understanding and appreciation of the particular initiatives by citizens and sector which will be impacted.
According to the Eastern Caribbean Monitory Council Chairman “never before do we require as much understanding of the challenges and the issues as we require at this time.”