Chief Minister: No 30% rise for key workers

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KEY workers employed by the government will not get a 30% pay rise during the pandemic, the Chief Minister has said, after a petition calling for the move gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré (28461171)

Responding to the e-petition on the government’s website, Senator John Le Fondré said: ‘The government recognises the significant contribution of public service workers. However, we are not in agreement that public service workers should receive a 30% uplift at this time.

‘The government planning and response to Covid-19 has been a considerable effort. Many public servants, along with partners in the private sector and community organisations, have contributed to putting the Island in a good place to respond to Covid-19.

‘These are unprecedented times. The potential severity of the public health emergency, and the economic implications of the government’s response to protect the health of Islanders, is placing a considerable and significant burden on public finances. Many Islanders face economic uncertainty, and businesses are under strain.’

He added that a number of local businesses were already being supported through the payroll scheme and that this would mean that Islanders had jobs to return to once the situation improved.

‘Individuals who are not able to work are being supported financially through the furlough scheme and through social security and other benefits. At the same time, government revenues have declined.’

The Chief Minister, who responded to the petition as it met the threshold of 1,000 signatures, said it would be wrong to treat public service workers differently to those in the private sector, and pay rises would place a burden on the taxpayer.

He added: ‘In these circumstances it is neither sensible nor sustainable to place further burden on taxpayers’ money by agreeing arbitrary pay rises for employees. We know that our employees are proud to work for the public services, and we are proud of them.

‘The States Employment Board and the wider government, alongside officials, warmly appreciate the work being done by a whole range of employees who are going the extra mile to support our Island through this emergency, whether in front-line roles or supporting others to carry out critical work.’

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