Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Finco rescues Grenada government by acquiring bond

Published:Wednesday | August 4, 2021 | 12:06 AM

An unnamed financial institution has come to the rescue of the government of Grenada by purchasing a 12-month bond valued at EC$7.7 million at interest rate of three per cent.

The funds will be used to settle the outstanding salary increase that is due to public-sector workers for the period January to July 2021.

“Effective August 2021, public officers will begin receiving the four per cent increase due for this year. The retroactive payment, due for the period January to July 2021, will be met by a financial institution which has agreed to accept the government-issued 12-month bonds, in exchange for paying teachers, upfront in cash,” said a news release from the government information service.

“The parties were informed that discussions were held between the mediator and a credible financial institution, after which the institution agreed to pay cash into the accounts of teachers by the stipulated date,” said the Grenada Union of Teachers in a memo that was addressed to all members.

The date will be October 31, with mediator being Labour Minister Peter David.

The government had initially offered the bond collectively to workers. This meant that the public workers will not only receive the outstanding seven months but an additional three per cent at the end of the 12 months. However, the unions rejected the bonds and demanded upfront cash payment as outstanding for the months January to July 2021.

The settlement came after several rounds of talks involving David, the Grenada Union of Teachers, and the government negotiating team.

The agreement, which was reached on Friday, is described as a comprehensive settlement to the salary-increase dispute which disrupted industrial relations among some public officers.

According to a government statement, the head of the government’s negotiating team, Oliver Joseph, and President of the Grenada Union of Teachers Jude Bartholomew, who led the union’s team, have both expressed hope that the industrial relations climate will now normalise.

CMC