NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – – “Our public servants will now resume in terms of their salary increases, increments and promotions.”
This was the announcement made by Nevis Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Finance in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), during his monthly press conference on Thursday, March 31.
In order to help mitigate the economic fallout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIA had instituted several fiscal measures including the temporary suspension of the payment of increments to all civil servants and the deferral of any request for promotion of officers or upgrade in their salaries and wages. This took effect January 01, 2021.
Premier Brantley said Cabinet made the decision to resume paying increments during their meeting on Wednesday, March 30.
“Yesterday in the Cabinet here on the island of Nevis, we took a decision that we will end the freeze on increments and promotions on the island of Nevis. I believe that the public would be aware that when we gave the budget address in December of 2021 for 2022, we indicated we would continue the freeze on increments and promotions until the first quarter of 2022. Well the first quarter has now come to an end and as of April 01, persons in the public service will once again be able to get their increments and promotions,” he said.
Mr. Brantley expressed his appreciation for the dedication and perseverance exhibited by government workers during the challenging times experienced during the height of the COVID pandemic.
“I would like to thank the hardworking public servants in Nevis who have really persevered and who have shared the burden of the difficulties that we all have experienced in relation to COVID.”
In conjunction to the good news regarding the resumption of increments and promotions, the Premier, as head of the NIA, noted his administration’s support of a general salary and wage increase for public servants on St. Kitts and Nevis.
He indicated that issue had been before the Federal Cabinet for some time now and has been supported by of all of its members.
“I can tell you that all the members of Cabinet are committed to our public servants receiving increases in salary. We think that it is time to have a look at this because the last time that there was any increase I believe was somewhere around 2014, so we are definitely committed to this. I believe the work on it is not yet completed but the members of Cabinet have long signalled their support of an initiative to increase the salaries of our public servants so this is not something new.
“This is something that has been on-going for some time and for so long as we can get the final numbers from the Ministry of Finance I believe that this is something that should happen in the near term.”
Civil servants in the Federation last received a wage and salary increase of three percent in 2016. This was part of an overall ten percent increase announced in 2014 where salaries were raised by four percent that year and by three percent in 2015.