GPSU gives Govt month-end ultimatum

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Having already rejected the Government’s proposed ‘interim’ payout of salary increases for 2016 at a differentiated rate of one to 10 per cent, the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) wants the Administration to return to the bargaining table by month-end.

This position was adumbrated yesterday by the GPSU as it indicated that it wanted Government to immediately and clearly address its position on the agreed mechanism for addressing the deadlocked negotiations on wages and salaries.

GPSU President, Patrick Yarde
GPSU President, Patrick Yarde

The GPSU is adamant that it is in Government’s own interest and the interest of all Guyanese that the issue of the emoluments of the nation’s Public Servants be treated with the level of urgency and importance which it deserves.

“There is, even at this time, manifest evidence that demands are being made of Public Servants and the Public Service that are inconsistent with the rewards that they are being offered,” the GPSU stated.

According to the public missive issued by the GPSU, it is both disappointed and concerned over the fact that the Government’s negotiators do not appear to attach the deserved level of urgency in dealing with the aforementioned issues in a fair and reasonable manner.

“We believe that this posture ignores the continuing anguish and frustration of Public Servants and sends a message that might even raise questions about the extent to which any serious value is placed on the contribution that Public Servants make.”

It said too of equal importance, “the GPSU ponders the seeming dichotomy between the publicly articulated desire on the part of the Government of Guyana for meaningful and comprehensive public service reform, on the one hand, and the seeming disposition of indifference to hastening the pace of the ensuing negotiations on wages, salaries and allowances, among other things, in the other.”

According to the GPSU, “it should be made clear that it is not realistic to anticipate a qualitatively enhanced Public Service in circumstances where little corresponding attention is being paid to adequately incentivising Public Servants to rise to challenges that are being set them.”

The Union said it had been its expectation that the negotiations between itself and the Government of Guyana would have, by now, realised much more than an ‘unreasonable and unacceptable’ wages and salaries offer and that “we would have at least arrived at a point where the talks would have resulted in some measure of seasonal satisfaction… That, regrettably, has not been the case.”

The Union said it was on record as having clearly stated its rejection of the 2016 wages and salaries increase offer made by the Government and deemed the payout made in October 2016, to have been an interim measure.

“As a consequence, the Union called for the speedy return to the negotiating table to address with alacrity the remaining issues on the agenda, including allowances, de-bunching, increments and other conditions of services for Public Servants.”

The GPSU noted too that it was the expectation of Public Servants that the appropriate mechanism for ensuring continuity in the wages and salaries negotiations would be effected with due haste and there would be an early return to the negotiating table in order for the various other unfinished items to be dealt with.

It was observed that while there have been exchanges of correspondence between the Union and the Government of Guyana on the matter over the past several weeks, it is the view of the Union that the Government is not attaching to these matters the merited level of urgency and importance. (Guyana Times)

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