A landmark moment for the restoration of State Pension by the Keith Mitchell Government occurred on Monday when a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was exchanged.
Chairman of the Government’s Pension Engagement Committee Beryl Isaac described the handing over of the MOU as a memorable occasion. She says there is commitment for the completion of all administration work and negotiations by mid-year.
“Successive governments have attempted to resolve this problem, but this is the closest that we have reached to a sure way forward,” said Isaac.
“The memorandum of understanding we are exchanging sets out the guided principles which should govern the pension restoration and reform process. We are aiming to complete all the necessary administrative and legal requirements by mid-year to allow for the implementation of the pension scheme.”
For years, it remained an issue of contention, following the Pension Disqualification Act of 1983. However, the Mitchell Administration has brought pension reform to the front burner and has been meeting with unions and other stakeholders to find a solution.
President General of the Technical and Allied Worker Union (TAWU), Senator Andre Lewis is pleased that workers can receive some positive news after years of stagnation. “The journey is not yet over. We have established the principles, we now have to do the deep dive and we call upon all concerned to continue along that course as we work in the interest of all,” said Lewis. “Now at least we have moved from uncertainty… we have moved away from wondering if we will ever see a pension to now addressing when will it be.”
Public officers, police and prison officers can now breathe a sigh of relief after the Mitchell Government has boosted the effort to return state pension.
President General of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Lydon Lewis emphasised that the process continues. “We want to emphasise to our members that it is a process and our monies would not start flowing immediately,” he said.
“We are hoping by June this year we will do all the necessary groundwork and from then government and the unions and associations would again engage as to when.”
Discussions will be conducted along the lines of a negotiated settlement, rather than a legal solution.