Equal pay for public servants with same qualifications
Within the public sector, there are individuals who receive different salaries though they possess the same qualifications and provide similar job services but the government has signalled an interest in ensuring that there is equal pay among employees.
This was announced during an address to the nation by the Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh on Thursday.
According to the Finance Minister, the government has recognised that there are anomalies and disparities across positions within the public service salary scale. And these result in some inconsistencies in the payments received by employees at different agencies- particularly among those who are similarly qualified.
To illustrate the inconsistency that has been identified, Dr. Singh explained that a new graduate with a degree in environmental science might be earning $120,000 in one agency while a new graduate with the same environmental science degree might be earning $190,000 in another agency. Both of those graduates may be providing the same services, yet, their salaries are different.
And so, Dr. Singh said that the government will make “suitable adjustments” to employees’ salaries to ensure that the payments received are more consistent. Provisions for this, he said, will be made in the 2022 National Budget.
Commenting on this during a subsequent interview with the News Room, the Minister of Public Service Sonia Parag explained that the government will be investigating the public service to determine where these inconsistencies are.
When that is done, she assured workers that the government will work to raise the salary received by the individual receiving the lesser amount. Using Dr. Singh’s example, that means that the graduate earning $120,000 would be able to earn $190,000 like the other, similarly qualified graduate.
Parag, however, pointed out that increasing employees’ salaries will have financial consequences and will require the government to assess the availability of funds. She also noted that the public service is guided by job descriptions which may mean that similarly qualified people may be providing different services.
As such, she said that the matter has to be assessed in a holistic manner.