Imbert: Wage restraint, not freeze; Duke: Imbert is Pharoah

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 12:30

Finance Minister Colm Imbert says the Government has taken no decision on a "wage freeze", but instead, a wage restraint.

The Minister says his comments this morning were taken out of context.

He had announced this morning that in upcoming negotiations for public servants, the Government would offer zero percent from 2017 to 2020.

His announcement drew the ire of the president of the Public Services Association (PSA) Watson Duke, who described the Minister as "Pharoah" at an earlier news conference.

Duke said the PSA would get a "rod to path the Red Sea", as he said the Government was attempting to keep the poor man down.

"This is economic mischief that the finance minister is getting on with," Duke said.

He called on workers to vote against the PNM in this month's Local Government election.

Imbert said while the Government intends to offer zero percent for the next bargaining period, he does not know where the negotiations will end.

The Cambridge University defines a wage freeze as "an occasion when a company or government sets the amount paid to workers and will not allow any increases."

It defines a wage restraint as "the act of reducing the rate of increase in the amount that workers earn, or something that is done to achieve this reduction."