ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, JANUARY 25, 2012 _ The Government of Grenada as part of its ongoing public sector reform in 2012 established the Office of the Prime Minister as separate and distinct from the Prime Minister’s Ministry.
The Office of the Prime Minister comprises the Cabinet Office, adviser to the Prime Minister and the top advisors and aides to ministers and other governmental officers.
Persons serving in office at the pleasure of the government are appointed under the Office of the Prime Minister.
These include Advisors, Personal Assistants to Ministers, Drivers/Security to Ministers, Housing Coordinators, Community Development Officers and Public Relations Officers.
It should be noted that all these positions existed in the public service prior to 2008 and persons were being paid under various ministries and departments.
Under the then Prime Minister’s Ministry, persons who could be considered political appointees, held the following posts and were paid as follows:
|Advisor||$ 9,000.00 per month|
|Advisor||$ 20,000.00 per month|
|Chief of Personal Security||$ 4, 500.00 per month|
|Advisor||$13, 000.00 per month|
|Advisor||$ 5,000.00 per month|
|Prison Consultant||$ 4,500.00 per month|
|Legal Advisor||$ 19, 000.00 per month|
|Technical Project Officer||$ 5,000.00 per month|
|Press Secretary||$ 10,000.00 per month|
|Personal Assistant to Prime Minister||$ 2, 500.00 per month|
|Assistant to Press Secretary||$ 1, 600.00 per month|
|Outreach Coordinator||$ 2, 500.00 per month|
|Coordinator of Private Sector Development||$ 4, 000,00 per month|
|Supervisor GIS||$ 5, 000.00 per month|
|National Security Advisor||$ 10,000.00 per month|
|Advisor to Minister of Sports||$ 5,000.00 per month|
In addition Personal Assistants to Ministers and Public Relations Officers were paid approx $2500 and $2000 each per month. There were 8 Personal Assistants to Ministers and similar number of Public Relations Officers.
It must also be noted that along with the Press Secretary, there were three (3) Assistants to the Press Secretary and a Communications and Hospitality Officer who were paid another $14,000.00 per month.
The 2012 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure reflected $3,826,718 in the budgetary allocation under the Office of the Prime Minister, with $595,759 allocated for personal emoluments and $2,326,858 for wages and salaries.
Therefore statements to the effect that this administration has employed advisors and political appointees to the tune of EC $8Million per month, are patently false, absolutely dishonest and signals a lack of integrity on the part of the persons making such statements, since the facts are easily verifiable.
It should be noted that the government’s wage bill is not static and has increased since 2008 for the following reasons:
- Salaries negotiations for the period 2006-2008 were concluded in early 2008. The cumulative percentages from 2006 to 2008 were added on to the existing salaries. Thus, the salary of each Public Officer increased in 2008. Pensioners also benefited from salary increases and so the pension benefits also increased.
- In 2008 Police and Prison Officers accepted a 4% salary increase for 2009 (Public Officers and Teachers did not accept this offer and are currently in negotiations). The 4% increase was added to the wage bill in 2009.
- Increments due to Public Officers are paid annually and result in further increases to salaries.
- Implementation of Union/Industrial Agreement: some persons are awarded increments on obtaining higher qualification.
- Regularization of the status of employees who may be temporary or acting in vacant posts.
- Provision for persons who proceed on study leave and other such leave
However the most significant impact on the wage bill, since 2008, has been the decision to treat all payments to 340 workers as wages and salaries. Prior to 2010 all 340 workers were paid as consultancy fees and in some instances were paid under projects. They are now being paid where they rightfully belong, on the payroll, as salaries and wages.
In 2008 the government inherited more than 2000 workers who were paid under the 340 vote. These workers were all retained in the Public Service.