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…says 2020 coming to a close but no increases
The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) said months after it proposed increases in remuneration for public servants, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has shown little regards for the people of Guyana, who provide critical services to the nation.
In a statement on Thursday, GPSU expressed disappointment that approximately two weeks before 2020 comes to a close there is no movement on the issuance of increases for the hard working men and women of Guyana, despite attempts by the Union to negotiate increases with the Government.
The Union detailed that upon the change in Administration on August 2, 2020, it submitted a number of proposals to the Finance Secretary, Michael Joseph, Ministry of Finance, ahead of the consideration of the National Budget 2020.
On September 1, 2020 another set of proposals was submitted to Soyinka Grogan, Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Ministry for increases in the remuneration of Public Servants. “To date the GPSU has not been engaged on the National Budget or Public Servants remuneration proposals,” the union said.
The GPSU after waiting in excess of three weeks for an invitation to meet, even though Clause 7 of the existing Agreement for the Avoidance and Settlement of Disputes clearly indicates that this should have occurred within ten (10) days, conveyed to the Permanent Secretary its displeasure of the ministry’s insensitivity and disregard for its obligations under the agreement.
On October 27, 2020, it eventually received an invite to a meeting on November 4, 2020 to discuss increases in the remuneration of Public Servants, among other matters.
“At the arranged meeting, the Head of the Ministry’s delegation, Minister Parag, from the outset, stated that she had no mandate to negotiate with the Union and was only prepared to listen. The Union considered this meeting a waste of time since the Ministry made no counter proposal or offered no substance for any discussion,” GPSU said.
It posited that the ministry should have equipped itself for meaningful discussions.
Cognizant that the year is quickly coming to an end, GPSU resorted to writing President Irfaan Ali.
“The Union expected that at his level there ought to be a greater display of sensitivity to the plight of these workers, who serve Government institutions and therefore submitted an interim proposal and recommended that early in the New Year that a multi-year agreement for 2020-2022 be negotiated, as can be seen in the attached correspondence that was sent to the President. Up to the time of issuing this press release, the Union has not received a response,” GPSU said.
Through the press, the Union said it has been informed that attention is being given to make a series of payments to several other groups, but no mention has been made of the Public Servants who “turn the wheels of the Government machinery” and who the Government, in their Manifesto during the election campaign, stated that they will raise their pay by 50%, if elected.