Following is a Government of Guyana statement, issued a short while ago, on Wages and Salaries Negotiations for Public Servants for 2016
- On Wednesday August 24, 2016, the Government of Guyana (GOG) and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) concluded discussions on Wages and Salaries for Public Servants within the Bargaining Unit for 2016.
- The negotiations were conducted in the spirit of cordiality and mutual respect, and consistent with the obligations of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Guyana Public Service Union and the Public Service Ministry for the Avoidance and Settlement of Disputes.
- The negotiations were conducted within a two month period from June 22, 2016 to August 24, 2016. During which period both the GOG and GPSU presented proposals and recommendations having mutually agreed that relief for public servants were both immediate and necessary. This timespan was influenced by requests made by the Union for information and data which the GOG as far as possible, sought to provide.
- The initial proposal of the GPSU was for a 40% across the board increase for public servants. This was subsequently adjusted to 25%. The Union also requested that allowances be included in the negotiations.
- In response, the GOG proposed a differentiated approach to increases that sought to provide the greatest relief to those within the lower Salary Bands of the Public Service Wages and Salaries Structure. In this regard, the Government proposed the following:
- persons earning below $100,000 would receive 5.5%
- persons earning $100,000 to $300,000 would receive 5%
- persons earning $300,000 to $800,000 would receive 4.5%
- persons earning $800,000 to $1,000,000 would receive 2%
- persons earning over a $1,000,000 would receive 1%
The below $100,000.00 percentage offer of 5.5% was later increased to 6%
The GOG also agreed to consider a review of allowances for public servants immediately upon the conclusion of the negotiations for Wages and Salaries. As a consequence, a Tripartite Committee comprising representatives from the Department of the Public Service, the Ministry of Finance and the Guyana Public Service Union was established to address this issue.
The GOG’s proposal took into consideration the fundamental need for a restructured Public Service which included the adjustment of scales for wages and salaries; the implementation of a merit increment system; and a resolution of the issue of bunching. It was pointed out to the Union, that each of these would entail an additional cost to Government and result in increased earnings for Public Servants.
The GOG’s proposal was rejected by the Union.
The Government reconsidered its position and a final offer was presented as follows:
(Range per month)
|$100,000 – $299,000||6%|
|$300,000 – $499,000||5%|
|$500,000 – $799,000||4%|
|$800,000 – $999,000||2%|
It was pointed out to the GPSU that the GOG’s final offer for wages and salaries increases for Public Servants had taken into consideration the current socio-economic environment; the difficulty in agreeing to increases that would entail having to raise additional revenue and the unsustainability of any further addition to its offer with regard to the current and future budgets.
The GOG reiterated to the Union that its members were also the Government’s employees and that the Government was equally mindful of the need for financial relief for the workers under consideration.
The Union was also reminded of the relief measures that were granted to public servants since the ascension of the New Administration to office in May 2015. Those measures included an increase of the Minimum wage to $50,000; a 5% across-the-board plus $5000 increase, all within the 2015 National Budget, and, a one-off bonus of $50,000 for Public Servants earning below $500,000 per month in December 2015.
The GPSU agreed to consider the Government’s final offer and indicated that a response will be forthcoming after a meeting of its General Council.
(The above Government of Guyana statement was issued by Mr. Reginald Brotherson, Permanent Secretary, Department of the Public Service and Head of the Government’s Negotiating Team)