Cabinet has assured the public that public servants will be paid outstanding increments dating back some five years.
The Office of the Deputy Governor gave that indication in a statement released last Friday.
According to the statement, Cabinet decided on February 15 to pay eligible public officers performance year increments, with arrears, for 2018 and 2019 to commence immediately and be substantially completed by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
It was further noted that the decision was made to pay eligible officers performance year increments for 2020, 2021 and 2022, without arrears initially. This is expected to be substantially completed by the end of the Third Quarter of 2023. This timeline translates to the end of September.
“I would like to underscore that this decision is of monumental importance, and I am pleased to see it is being prioritised for the sake of so many hard-working public officers who are owed these increments. This is a symbol of the government’s commitment to driving public service excellence,” Acting Premier Kye Rymer said.
The statement from the Deputy Governor’s Office follows closely on the heels of an assurance by Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley that increments will be paid to public officers.
“Just in case somebody didn’t hear it. I have already announced the payment of increments for our hardworking public servants. I have instructed the Financial Secretary to find money. Money has been budgeted. If additional money needs to be budgeted, we will get it,” the Premier said recently in the House of Assembly.
Delayed payments impacted morale
In the meantime, the statement advised that in cases where officers are on the top of their scales, they will be paid a one-off payment the equivalent of the incremental value. It was also explained that eligible public officers will receive the payment of two full increments – for 2018 and 2019 – at the end of the entire processing period, and see a change in their salary levels by five incremental steps.
Speaking to the steps that led up to the move, it was noted that the Office of the Deputy Governor in partnership with the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Human Resources made presentations to Cabinet last week regarding the payment of outstanding increments to public officers.
The presentation is said to have highlighted the impact of the delayed increment payments on the Public Service, and the effect on the engagement and morale of public officers.
The decision to commence the payment of increments also comes as the Office of the Deputy Governor wraps up several Compensation Review stakeholder meetings. These focus-group sessions have taken place with various stakeholder groups internal and external to the Public Service and are led by consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Limited (PwC).
The statement also explained that before 2013, the payment of performance increments was in accordance with General Orders, and perfectly married to the Performance Management Programme. However, due to the fluctuating fiscal challenges since 2012, which were further compounded by the disasters of 2017 and the COVID
-19 pandemic, the payment of increments was subsequently delayed.