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When Irfaan Ali was sitting in the Opposition bench as a People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP’s) Member of Parliament, he rose to his feet in the National Assembly and said public servants, nurses, teachers and members of the disciplined forces deserved no less than a 50 per cent pay increase. The words (see evident below) not only resonated across the country and were recorded in the Hansards for posterity but at the time Guyana’s economic growth was not projected at approximately 60 percent. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a recent report, said in 2022 Guyana’s overall economic growth is projected to be 57.8 per cent. Neither was Guyana raking in US$1.1 Billion in oil and gas revenue as is expected in 2022.
President Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced on his Facebook the Government will pay out an across-the-board 8 per cent increase to public sector workers. According to the President, the increase will be retroactive and payable to public servants, teachers, members of the disciplined services, constitutional office holders, and government pensioners. Junior ranks in the Police Force, Prison Service, Fire Service and specific categories of employees in the public healthcare system will see an adjustment in their salaries. The President is making these decisions fully aware that in the named services where workers are unionised their right to collective bargaining is being denied, an approach he has not taken with sugar workers and in other government agencies where workers are represented by trade unions allied or friendly to the government.