Group of civil servants found to be earning less than monthly amount needed to cover cost of living
THE BOTTOM, SABA — In a groundbreaking move, the government of Saba has agreed to a salary adjustment for a few dozen workers whose monthly pay was not enough to cover their basic costs of living.
This comes as inflation is skyrocketing worldwide, reaching heights not seen in decades for some countries.
It also comes as minimum wage talks are on the rise in some Caribbean nations, even as some leaders acknowledge a minimum wage does not necessarily equate to a “livable wage” that is sufficient for people and families to live comfortably.
The Caribbean has not been spared the scourge of rising inflation, especially given that many of the region’s countries actually import quite a fair share of their goods.
As such, Saba’s initiative is groundbreaking and raises a question of whether fellow Caribbean states facing astronomical increases in the cost of living should do the same.
More pay for civil servants
For this initiative, Saba has agreed to adjust the salary for a specific group of civil servants who were found to not be making enough to cover the cost of living in a single-parent household.
It will be retroactive to January 1 of this year.
A statement by the government noted, “The Public Entity Saba has raised the salary of a group of employees who earned below the minimum amount that is needed to cover their monthly costs.
“The few dozen civil servants earned less than the amount that was calculated in a report by the Regioplan as the necessary minimum that a single parent needs.”
According to a statement by the government, the Island Council had been “advocating the much-needed increase for this group of workers”.
Second group also gets salary adjustment
Additionally, a second batch of civil servants will also get “a small amount” more on their salaries in consideration for the serious rise in inflation.
That adjustment will also be retroactive to January 2022.
In explaining the reasoning, the government of Saba noted, “The Executive Council also decided that some civil servants will get a small amount added to their salary to help them with the inflation that has further raised the already high cost of living on Saba.”
Adding his comments, Commissioner Bruce Zagers said, “The Executive Council supports the position of the Island Council that correcting these salaries is a priority.
“Our employees work hard and should not receive a salary below the minimum amount that they need to cover their monthly costs.”