Thursday, April 15, 2004

USVI: Promise them anything

Public school teachers are still waiting for their paychecks to reflect the 2.5 percent raise the V.I. government promised would take effect this school year.

The teachers are among a long list of employee unions the V.I. government owes a total of more than $11.8 million in wages and benefits for the last two fiscal years.

Last fall, the government said it lacked enough money to implement salary increases because of a "severe drop" in tax revenues.

In his budget for Fiscal Year 2004, Gov. Charles Turnbull asked the Senate to suspend all collective bargaining talks for 2004, but his request failed to garner support.

Since then, the government has been scrambling to come up with a solution that will satisfy the territory's increasingly disgruntled employees unions while avoiding layoffs.

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