By L.K. Hewlett

St. Kitts Reporter

Civil servants in the federation say they are still waiting for word from the Government on whether or not they would be getting a salary increase.

Another concern shared by the public servants is the payment of a ‘double salary’ at the end of this year.

Some say they fear that the government will only pay a double salary after the election bell is rung, but with the rate at which taxes, utilities and food costs are rising, they will continue to struggle financially until such time.

“They dragging their feet when it comes to raising our salaries. They are going to call elections and then give double salary or give a salary increase just to sway public support their way. If they really care about the poor people who struggling everyday, they would give the increase whether itÇs election time or not,” one public servant commented.

An official close to Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Hon. Denzil Douglas told The Observer that the nation’s leader had said his administration would be carrying out the necessary study to determine if there would be a salary increase for civil servants.

Public scrutiny on this issue is forecasted to increase after St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced a salary increase for the territory’s public servants.

As the country celebrated its independence last week, P.M. Gonsalves told a gathering that government employees would receive a 5% increase in salary, retroactive from January 1, 2007.

“In addition to this, government workers will receive a further increase of 5% from January 2008 and some will benefit from an additional 6% increase as a result of a reclassification exercise. We urge public servants to improve their performance on the job and thank them. We give you material recompense to show that we love, care and thank you,” Dr. Gonsalves was quoted as saying.

Under the reclassification exercise, many government workers’ positions will attract a higher grading and thus a higher salary scale. This increase would apply to military and uniformed civil servants as well.

It was also announced that public servants in that country would each receive a Christmas bonus of EC$250.