Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 13th 2015 Contents RAPHAEL JOHN-LALL
The 14 per cent wage increase the
Public Services Association (PSA)
settled for on Wednesday should be
matched by increased productivity
or else it could lead to inflation, Dr
Roger Hosein, senior lecturer at the
University of the West Indies (UWI),
"Wage increases that are
unmatched by a corresponding
improvement in productivity will lead
to some degree of inflation. The chal-
lenge here is to get a corresponding
increase in productivity from the ben-
efitting members of the PSA," Hosein
told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
PSA has signed off on a new col-
lective agreement with Chief Person-
nel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis
for the 14 per cent salary increase
which covers the period 2011 to 2014.
Commenting on that development
Hosein said: "Two associated chal-
lenges would be worker absenteeism
and worker ethic. The increase in
salaries has to come with an increased
element of monitoring and account-
ability. I am not sure what measures
have been laid with the wage settle-
ment by way of proportionally chang-
ing worker productivity and address-
ing issues associated with work ethic
but I am assuming that it is a similar
proportional change to the wage
increase," he said.
He said that is more urgent during
economically trying times.
"If output per worker in the econ-
omy continues to fall, as has occurred
since 2007, and wages increase, the
real effective exchange rate will take
a further hit and it is already about
50 per cent over valued. These are
trying times and the hands of the
next government will be filled with
managing these various issues."
Daphne Barlett, president of the
San Fernando Business Association,
said the fact that Government can
afford to pay public servants a 14 per
cent salary increase over three years
means the T&T economy is not as
bad as it seems.
"The fact that the Government as
the largest employer can do this shows
that the Treasury can handle this,"
Bartlett expressed concern that this
higher wage level may not be be sus-
tainable in the long run.
"If the oil prices continues like
this into the next fiscal year, the
Government may have to look at job
cuts and other decisions that could
affect the economy negatively like
a devaluation. Remember, this is an
election year," she said.
However, labour consultant Robert
Giuseppi does not believe the wage
settlement will cause inflation.
"A couple negotiations ago, the
PSA settled for nine per cent and
the other state agencies had settled
for more as they held out for more
during their negotiations. The PSA
has been lagging. Only now PSA is
filling the gap between their union
wages and those other state agen-
cies," the retired trade unionist said.
He said he wants to see how the
14 per cent salary increase and other
benefits will be divided among the
different grades of the public service.
"When they get their retroactive
payments and other benefits I hope
the higher paid grades of the public
service do not get more than those
of the bottom," Giuseppe said, adding
that he does not see the outcome
of the PSA negotiations impacting
on other wage talks currently taking
"This will not impact on the
labour market as as each sector has
its own circumstances and must
negotiate on their own terms," he
He advised trade unions and
employers to take into account the
current state of the economy and
do what is best.
"The oil prices are playing tricks
now and each party must give and
take during the negotiations but
must also do what is best for the
country so that the economy will
not suffer. Negotiations must be
constructive," he said.
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
NEW YORK---The egg industry is or-
dering up a side of Kevin Bacon.
The American Egg Board says it
plans to launch a print and online ad
campaign this week featuring the
Footloose actor and puns using his
last name. The group says it s the first
time it s using a Hollywood celebrity
in a major marketing push.
The campaign comes at a promising
time for the egg industry, with the na-
tion s protein craze helping fuel sales
after decades of eggs being viewed as
The online spots feature a woman
making scrambled eggs for breakfast,
when Bacon appears lying sugges-
tively on the counter behind her. At
one point, she leans in to sniff the
actor and says she loves the smell of
bacon, when her husband walks in.
The Wake Up To Eggs With Bacon
push by the ad agency Grey is an up-
date on the Wake Up To Eggs cam-
paign that launched in 2012.
Bob Krouse, CEO of Midwest Poul-
try Services, an egg producer in Men-
tone, Indiana, said he s glad the egg
board is taking a slightly edgier ap-
proach in its marketing. (AP)
Kevin Bacon and eggs; actor stars in egg industry campaign
Economist on PSA settlement:
Link wage hike
Food Production Minister Devant Maharaj, left, is given a tour of the Aripo Livestock Breeding Unit which he
officially opened on Tuesday. The new unit, one of several opened across the country to boost meat production,
will use the best available genetic material to produce animals for higher yields. The minister said importation of
meat contributes to T&T's high food import bill. PHOTO: VINDRA GOPAUL-BOODAN.
SECURING T&T'S FOOD
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