HEADLINES

TEAM UNITY CORRECTS ANOTHER LABOUR WRONG AS GOVERNMENT AUXILIARY WORKERS ARE NOW A PART OF THE PENSIONABLE ESTABLISHMENT

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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 02, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris revealed on Monday (June 01) evening, that come September 01, 2020, all Government Auxiliary Employees (GAE) will be incorporated into the pensionable establishment, thus reversing the injustice created by the former administration against this class of workers.

Government Auxiliary Employees, formerly called Non-Established Workers, used to receive a payment called honorarium, which was paid at two percent of their accumulated salary per year. That payment was stopped in 2008 under the previous administration, with the understanding that the two percent would instead go into their pension account. However, the pension fund was never created.

The Team Unity Government activated a Pension Committee in 2017 and tasked it with devising a pension plan to benefit these workers who were not entitled to a pension upon leaving government work.

“We have good news. We set up a committee to look at this and they have advised us that the 1st of September, 2020 will be the date in which we will bring all, everyone, of the non-establishment workers on to the pensionable establishment,” Prime Minister Harris said during the launch of the progressive and visionary Team Unity 2020 Manifesto.

“Only we can do what is right. Only we are focusing on the people and improving their conditions of life. So, tomorrow you at Public Works you could march in with a little bit more pep, a little bit more step, because Dr. Harris has committed from the 1st of September you are part of the civil service. You are part of the government establishment.” Dr. Harris exclaimed.

Prime Minister Harris also announced during Monday’s manifesto launch that come July 01, 2020, more than 3,000 Skills Empowerment Training Programme (STEP) workers will become a permanent part of the workforce in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“They are in a variety of ministries and departments, they are in a variety of private sector institutions, radio stations, farms customs brokerage corporations and yet those workers have no particular status. Tonight, I want to announce that the 3,000 STEP workers will become part of the permanent work force of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis come the 1st of July 2020,” Prime Minister Harris said.

In February 2017, STEP, which was formerly known as the People’s Employment Programme (PEP), was reorganized, restructured and repositioned by the Team Unity administration to ensure that the trainees receive genuine training and are imbued with the necessary work ethics, and are given value for money.

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