The cost of living adjustment was established by the incomes policy mechanism and should be given irrespective of whether or not the budget is approved, the General Workers’ Union said.

The union said in a statement this morning that it would not accept a situation where workers would not get their cost of living increase as announced in the budget for 2013 as from next January 1.

The increase was agreed among all the social partners and the government. The incomes policy stated that the established percentage would be applied on the minimum wage each January 1.

It also provided for the increase to be effective on increases given after January 1.

What usually happened, the GWU said, was that after the cost of living increase was announced in the budget, the Employment Relations Board approved the increase and the minister then published the legal notice with which the COLA could be given. There was nothing to stop this process from being implemented, the union said.

It said that, moreover, the collective agreement for civil servants signed a few weeks ago clearly said that the cost of living adjustment was included in the agreed increase and so should be given automatically.

In the budget speech, the government also promised that pensioners would get the COLA in full so nothing should keep pensioners from receiving what was theirs by right as from next January 1.

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