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Govt Prepares to Pay $18M Back-pay to Public Servants

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 - The Government of St. Lucia is preparing to pay approximately $18 million worth of back-pay to the island's public servants. This is as a consequence of the 10% pay raise recently agreed to between the Government and Public Service Unions.

The Government's negotiating team and the unions representing Civil Servants, Teachers and other Public Service employees agreed shortly before Christmas to a 10% wage increase, to be paid over a three-year period.

According to the agreement, the workers will be paid 3% in the first year, 3% in the second year and 4% in the third year.

The agreement covers the three-year period from April 2004 to March 2007, but the workers will receive the first year's back pay tax free.

So far, Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony has remained quiet on the size of the award to the public servants. However, it is widely expected that the Government will have to engage in cost-cutting measures in order to pay the increase, which is the first double-digit increase to public servants for the past 25 years.

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