P 0 Box 65
THE GRWNAIA NEWSLTTER
For The Week Ending 26th Marnh IQ-
BUDGET DAY PIXED
By letter dated March 21st, Members of the House of k ~e.ativea
have been advised that the meeting of the House scheduled for Friday
March 25th has been postponed to Wednesday April 6th. Members have
also been advised that the Budget will be presented at that time.
In an exclusive interview with NEWSLETTER today (25th), Mr Maurice
Bishop, Leader of the Opposition, said he had received a notice
yesterday for a meeting of the Finance Committee ( a meeting of the
whole House in camera) to take place on Monday April 4th, and
Mr Bishop did not think that sufficient time had been allow-e& between
the Finance Committee meeting and the Budget debate.
"We are very concerned about the fact that the meeting of the Finance
Committee to look at the Estimates will be held only on April 4th,
two days before the Budget debate", he said. "Obviously, in two
days time we cannot gather all the material we are going to need to
counter effectively what is put up, or, alternatively, to put up
our own proposals."
Mr Bishop said that, having regard to the fact that the Constitution
has already been breached in that the Latimates were not laid by the
end of hast year, the shortness of the time given to the Opposition
to consider Government's Budget proposals assumes double significance.
The Leader of the Opposition said it had to be noted also that
Parliament has not been meeting regularly. "Since the General
Elections of December 7th", he said, "there has been one single
meeting, there has been no debate on the Throne Speech and, therefore,
what is happening now further indicates that Government intends to
run the country without the use of Parliament, or to use it as
little as it needs to."
GSA: "NO JUSTIFICATION FOR ALLOWANCE"
In a detailed 10-page document, the Grenada Shipping Agents (GSA)
have set out their reasonifor rejecting a clain made by the beamen &
Waterfront Workers Union for a 35o to 40~ cost-of-living allowance
THE GRINADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 26.53.77
Secretary, Mr Godwin Brathwaite, by letter of March 4th supplied
OSA with a list of equipment referred to, but a source close to C,SA
disclosed to NEWSLETTER today (25th) that an inspection of the
Division of Agricultural Information revealed that much of the
equipment is irrelevant to the skills of the officers, isa
unservicable or unavailable.
On Monday of this week (21st), a reply from CSA was sent to the
Cabinet Secretary expressing dissatisfaction and stating that
the. "officers' services and talents are being wasted, posted as
they are with very little or nothing to do", and that the
Management of CSA reiterates its stand that it is "very perturbed
over the unsuitable placement of these and other officers and
looks forward to immediate correction ...."
To date, no reply has been received.
HIGGS & HILL POISED TO TART
The road and bridge rebuilding project to be undertaken by Messrs
Higgs & Hill in Grenada on behalf of the British Government will
commence on Monday 28th March.
Mr Basil Bumetead, Project Manager, told NEWSLETTER today (25th)
that on March 21.4t work began on construction of the Company's
offices- and plant and, although these will not be completed by
28th, this will not interfere with commencement of work on the
Higgs & Hill were awarded a contract by the British Government
to rebuild approximately 2l miles of the Woburn-Calivigny road
and to repair some 30 bridges around the island. The project
is expected to be completed before Christmas.
y-AYW UNIT STILL AWAITED
Dr Barry Rapier, Medical Superintendent of the General Hospital,
told NLWSLITTER today (25th) that the Hospital has not yet
reQeived the X-ray unit which is being donated to it by the
St.Gqorges University School of Medicine.
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 26.53.77
1977 is viewed in this light", says the GSA, "then 1977 must be
viewed as the Wages Base Year against which negotiations wilL take
Against these arguments, GSA conclude there is no justlfietdion
for a cost-of-living allowance, that negotiations on a new three-
year Agreement should commence by thp middle of 1977, and that if
any cost-of-living allowance is agreed, it must be taken into account
when a new Agreement is being negotiated.
In reply to an observation in the SWWU memorandum that
"underemployment on the docks has resulted in a lowering of the
workers' standard of living", the GSA dooument is critical of
production on the docks.
"The data available", it says, "seems to indicate that there are too
many men employed on the docks given the quantity of oarg whioh
passes through the port. The high percentage of over-time worked
indicates very poor organisation and supervision on the do*eks. The
fact that the percentage of overtime worked tends to remain constant
even though the cargo flow has decreased seems to indicate the use of
overtime as a fixed percentage of income whatever the circumstances."
A meeting of GSA with SWWU was scheduled to take place next week for
the purpose of negotiation, but this is unlikely.
Mr Eric Pierre, Secretary of SWWU, left Grenada today (25th) for
London to visit his brother who fell ill recently, and it is not
known when Mr Pierre will return.
CUA STILL DISSATISFIED OVIR VICTIMIZATIONON"
At a meeting of a delegation from the Civil Service Association (OSA)
with Prime Minister Gairy on March 1st, the transfer of members of the
Radio Grenada staff to the Division of Agricultural Information was
discussed, and the delegation was assured that no victimisation was
intended and that these Civil servants had at their disposal
equipment with which they could utilise the same skills they had
practiced at Radio Grenada.
In keeping with an undertaking given at that meeting, the Cabinet
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week 1xiding 26.3.77
covering Various grades of worker.
Last December SWWU submitted a memorandum to GSA in support of
this claim, which memorandum stated that, since 1971, "the dollar
of every worker has diminished in value some 60.2 cents." The
memorandum set out the following wage increases received by SWWU
from GSA since 1971 :- /
Year Percentage Increase
10.7.74 25 (Cost-of-living allowance)
According to S'WU, "the evidence indicates that despite these
increases, the real dollar value of the workers' present wage
in 1976 ie less than what it was in 1970", and the eost-of-living
allowance now demanded is required to restore the living standard
which amaders enjoyed in the base year of 1970.
In the document now submitted by GSA to SWWU for study, disagreement
is expressed with the Union's argument that 1970 should be
considered the "base year". According to GSA, "The basic
assumption is made ... that the negoti-ations which oulminiated
in the 1975 Memorandum of Agreement resulted in wage increases
which fully compensated for any lose in real income which may
have taken place in the interim between the last wage negotiations
prior to 1975 and the conclusion of the 1975 Memorandum of
Agreement. Any other interpretation would be tantamount to
accusing SWWU of incompetence in the conduct of the negotiations.
It is therefore obvious that for negotiation of any further
wage increase the Wages Base Year against which all calculations
must be made must be at least 1975."
The Shipping Agents document also points out that the Agreement-
signed in 1975 provided for increases of 20%, 10% and 5% payable
on January 10th of 1975, 1976 and 1977, and "the percentage
increases paid in those years were seen as fully accounting for.
the decrease in the purchasing power of the dollar in the
-espective years." "If the 5% increase paid on 10th January
THE GRENADA NEWSLETTER Week Ending 26.3.77
On February 24th, Dr Charles Modica, Chancellor of the school of
Medicine, told NLWSLhTTER that a CTR Futuristic X-Ray Unit would be
shipped from the United-States within three weeks for installation
at Grenada's General Hospital, but Dr Rapier said that, while he had
heard of this gift to the Hospital, he had not been officially advised
Me SEMS MEDICAL CONSULTATION
Mr Norris Bain, Opposition Member in the House of Representatives for
the constituency of St.Andrews South-West, flew to Trinidad yesterday
for medical consultation.
Mr Bain collapsed at his store in Grenville on February 17th and was
rushed to the Princess Alice Hospital, from which institution he was
discharged early this month and, since then, has been convalescing
A source close to Mr Bain told NEWSLETTER that it is suspected that
this illness (which first showed itself in 1975) is as a result of
a motorcycle accident some 17 years ago, and Mr Bain's medial
advisors have suggested that he seek specialist attention.
CRUISE LINER CALLS
During the week ending March 19th, the following cruise liners
March 14th "Monarch Star" 571 Passingers
t6th "Amerikania" 604 do.
"Stella Oceania" fa 275 do. J, ,
17th "Brittanis" 842 do.
AgAAA S3flIIL1 TS
On March 24th, the S S "Goestcrest" sailed with 21,724 boxes of
bananas weighing 640,475 lbs and valued at EO$67,249.00. There
were 1,206 boxes of rejected fruit.
( 24 words)
25th March 1977