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VI Gov't to disburse $4M in increments this year– Cabinet

VI Gov't to disburse $4M in increments this year– Cabinet

The Government of the Virgin Islands has pledged to disburse some four million dollars in increments to public servants this year.

Through its post-meeting statement on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Cabinet said, the “payment of the 2018 increments for the 2017 work year is estimated at $6 Million, of which $4 is expected to be disbursed in 2021.”

It also said the increments will be inclusive of social contributions.

Meanwhile, the remaining $2 Million in increments will be paid out in 2022 after the Department of Human Resources’ review and assessment of those officers with payroll anomalies for the 2017 work year.

This decision was made when all members were present during the September 8, 2021, meeting, which took place at the Financial Services Commission Conference Room and chaired by Governor John J. Rankin.

The remaining $2 Million in increments will be paid out in 2022 after the Department of Human Resources’ review and assessment of those officers with payroll anomalies for the 2017 work year.


Job or increments?


In August 2020, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie (R1) told public officers that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the territory in such a way that they would have to choose between keeping their jobs or getting their promised increments.

“We have to decide if we are going to give you increments right now — which we already started when we entered office — and that was years before they had any increments period. But here comes COVID-19. This is harsh, but I have to ask you: would you prefer a little increment and no job? Or to hold the increment and have your job, and then when we get better, then you get the increments?” he asked last year.

“That is the question that I am asking public officers because that’s where we are right now. So if persons want to bombard the Minister for Finance and say ‘we want our increments’, I can give you the increments tomorrow. But, rest assured that once everybody gets their increments, I have to decide now — based on what’s coming in and what we just did with the increments — what we are going to do and who’s gone in terms of employment, and that’s the reality of it.”

His comments follow a promise from the head of the public service, Deputy Governor David Archer Jr., informing public officers that outstanding increments would have been paid by February 28, 2020.

However, before the Mr Archer's promise, Premier Fahie had pledged to pay public officers their increments by October 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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