150 unionised GTT employees to receive salary increases

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GTT Financial Adviser Mark Singh, Acting Chief Labour Officer Michelle Baburam and GPTWU President Harold Shepherd (DPI Photo)

The Labour Ministry on Friday facilitated the signing of a Collective Labour Agreement between the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T) and the Guyana Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union (GPTWU) which will see some 150 unionised workers benefitting from a salary increase.

During the simple signing ceremony that was held at the Ministry’s Boardroom on Brickdam, Georgetown, it was announced that 150 unionised employees will benefit from a four and six per cent raise in salary and wages.

This will be facilitated through agreement between GTT and the Guyana Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union. The agreement will cover a period of two years from October 2020 to September 2021, and October 2021 to September 2022 with a review within the next six months.

Chief Labour Officer, Michelle Baburam said she is pleased that both GTT and the Union were able to come to an agreement on this matter.

“When I first took over the matter, they were at zero, one and two per cent being offered by GTT and then they went back to bilateral. They came back… and when I took over, they were in the conciliarity process. I had two meetings with them that brought to closure this matter of wages and salaries, where GTT would have moved from the two per cent to four and six per cent.”

Baburam said even with this agreement she is hopeful that in another six months, both parties can see some improvements and come to another consensus on another percentage.

In response, Union Leader of the Guyana Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union Harold Shepherd said the process had commenced earlier this year during the bilateral discussions, and they were able to have a resolution.

“The issue was referred to Labour for conciliation, and we are happy with the input of the Chief Labour Officer (acting), and more so the new Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company. The very first meeting here with him were able to reach the position in which we were able to agree to a four per cent increase on the basis salary for the GTT unionised members.”

“We are all aware that cost of living has skyrocketed over the last few months and obviously our membership at GTT, they have to face the market like anybody else and it is a welcome move by the company,” he explained.

Shepard further related that he understands the challenges faced by workers and as such, the Union is prepared to work with the company for the betterment of the organisation and its members.

He added too, that even though they did not get what they had initially wanted, which is a 14 per cent increase, he is happy that they got something that they can work with.