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Burt implores court officials to accept pay cut

  • David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Premier has appealed to the Governor to ask court officials to accept a 10 per cent salary cut “in the spirit of shared sacrifice”.

Mr Burt confirmed that court staff had threatened industrial action over the proposed reductions.

He said at Thursday’s regular Covid-19 briefing: “If the Premier of the country can take a pay cut, if the Governor of the country can take a pay cut, if the ministers of the Cabinet can take a pay cut, if the Chief Justice can take a pay cut, if the Registrar of the Supreme Court can take a pay cut, then I think that members of the judiciary, in the spirit of shared sacrifice and recognition, should also participate in this scheme.”

Mr Burt, speaking in response to a question from news site TNN, added: “It is disappointing that they haven’t.”

He said he had raised the matter with John Rankin, the Governor, last Wednesday and was due to discuss the problem with him again yesterday.

The cost-saving measures for the Civil Service were revealed by the Government in the wake of the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 10 per cent pay reduction was to be applied to all public servants.

But the deal was rejected by the Fire Services Association and the Prison Officers Association earlier this month.

Mr Burt said the judicial branch was under the authority of the Governor, not the Government.

He added: “We hear a lot from the bench in regards to the challenges which exist in our community and the need for the Government to find resources.

“The Minister of Finance has been creative in that stance in making sure that people do not have less take-home pay, but saving the Government money so that we can redirect funds so that we can pay unemployment benefits and support persons who are not able to work.

“It would just make sense that all persons would be able to participate in that.”