The St Kitts and Nevis Administration led by the Prime Minister Dr Terrance Drew has reinstated payments of the gratuity to the scores of the retired Government Auxilliary Employees (GAEs) who has served at least 10 years and whose rightful gratuity was declined to them under the leadership of former Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.
It is to be mentioned that the practice was discontinued in 2021 and has impacted over 60 persons. The Human Resource Management Department in conjunction with the Accountant General’s Department calculated the outstanding balances and also processed the payment of each of the person. The Director of Audit has verified that in excess of $700,000 remained to be paid out.
While addressing the handing over ceremony at the NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) conference room, PM Drew asked, “Why is it of all the persons in the system, those who are taking home less than others are the ones who are allowed to suffer the most?”
He added that, “And, for some of the reasons, you gratuity was adjusted downwards and many of you when you begin to work thought that you would have taken home much more but you took home way less than expected. For those of you who are GAEs now, we want to ensure that when after you have contributed at least 10 years that you too would benefit and that nobody can ever again take away what is rightfully yours.”
PM Drew also extended thanks to the GAEs for their hard work and their contributions towards the nation.
PM Drew stated that, “I want to take this chance to thank all of you workers of St Kitts and Nevis. To those of you who are under the banner of GAE, sometimes it gives the impression as though you are second-class workers within the system and I know that some of you feel that a well and so as an administration that promotes the rights of the workers in the St Kitts and Nevis since 1932, we are once again on the frontline fighting for you, fighting for your meaningful work conditions to improve your standard of life, your standard of living, and for giving you the best chance really to live the best life here in St Kitts and Nevis.”