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GGCA and Gibraltar NASUWT call for dialogue on public sector pay

The teachers’ union, Gibraltar NASUWT, has echoed calls by the GGCA for dialogue on public sector salary increases.

Speaking to GBC, GGCA president Wendy Cumming said many lower-paid public sector workers were struggling to make ends meet due to inflation and the rise in the cost of living.

She acknowledged the financial difficulties facing Gibraltar but said the union wanted to engage in a conversation with the Gibraltar Government on the issue.

The Gibraltar NASUWT said it shared the concerns of others unions about the government’s “non-engagement in meaningful discussions”, accusing it of seeking to “bias public opinion”.

It pointed to comments made by Sir Joe Bossano on Viewpoint last which, where he “painted a bleak and frightening picture” of public finances.

“If this is a strategy to indirectly portray the unions and public sector workers as irresponsible and reckless in the eyes of the community for requesting to enter into honest and constructive discussions for a public sector salary increment, we feel that it may potentially damage the excellent industrial relations we have enjoyed with HM Government since 2012,” Gibraltar NASUWT said.

In her interview, Ms Cumming had alluded to cost of consultants adding to the public sector burden.

Gibraltar NASUWT noted that and highlighted the “unnecessary” 25% salary increment that the Director of Education and Advisory Service were awarded as a result of teachers receiving an average 10% salary adjustment in September 2019.

“The increment at the Department of Education went against the very spirit of the claim which sought to adjust teacher salaries to the runaway salaries of top earners in management and make the system more equitable,” the teachers’ union said.

“Instead, management was catapulted to six figure salaries to the combined sum of half a million pounds between them.”

“We wonder whether this was a wise decision and good value for money in return for no extra duties or responsibilities.”

“We urge HM Government to enter into discussions with the three unions with an open mind and to be ready to consider realistic and fair strategies to achieve the public sector increment that thousands of workers expect.”

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