[www.inewsguyana.com] – The main Opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – has rejected the 5 – 8% increase of wages and salaries by the government for over 20,000 Public Servants and members of the Disciplined Forces.
In a media release issued today, November 30, the APNU called on the government to respect the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and to adhere to the collective bargaining agreement.
“The APNU condemns the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic administration’s arbitrary imposition of another paltry ‘freck’ on public servants salaries. APNU demands that the PPPC enter into sincere and serious negotiations aimed at paying reasonable and meaningful increases, wages and salaries to Public Service employees,” the APNU statement noted.
According to the Party, the annual “arbitrary imposition of a small increase in wages and salaries for public employees” is a clear example of the PPP/C administration’s arrogance and its abandonment of any pretense at collective bargaining.
As such, the Party is calling for an immediate review of the conditions under which public servants work and the payment of “a living wage” to public servants.
“Workers at the lowest levels – who comprise over 75 per cent of the Public Service – will see their salaries increase by less than $2,500 per month with the proposed 5 per cent increase. Public servants are frequently unable to afford to meet some basic household expenses, utilities and transportation and often are forced to borrow money for emergencies and to settle day-to-day expenses. They are convinced that they deserve a higher increase, particularly in light of the high cost of living,” the APNU said.
The Party also noted that the government must adhere to the International Labour Organizations (ILO) Conventions ratified by the National Assembly that deal with the Protection of the Rights to Organize and Collective Bargaining.
A media release from the Office of the President on Saturday, November 29 stated that public servants and members of the Disciplined Forces earning above $50,000 monthly wages and salaries as of December 31, 2014 are being granted an across the board increase of 5%, while those earning less than $50,000 monthly as at December 31, 2013 would be receiving 8% across the board increase, retroactive to January 1, 2014.
The release added that teachers earning less than $50,000 monthly as of December 31, 2013 are being granted an additional 3% across the board increase, in addition to the 5% increase.
Government says this is in keeping with the multi-year agreement concluded with their Union, bringing their total increase to 8%, retroactive to January 1, 2014.