Eyewitness: The battle is joined…

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…by GPSU?

The GPSU just issued the first salvo in launching the “war break” promised during the campaign by then Minister of Finance Winston Jordan. They warned that even though they’d requested a “conference” with the Ministry of Public Service to negotiate wages, salaries, allowances etc… they’re being “ignored”. Now lest your Eyewitness be accused of being an alarmist, all he asks is you, dear reader, cast back your minds as to how previous “war breaks” were triggered.

And as we were advised by Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”, we have to start at the very beginning. That’s when Burnham and the PNC introduced political violence to get their way in politics in the (in)famous “80-day strike”. This was called by the TUC in 1963 but surprisingly backed by the Civil Service Association (CSA) which, up to then, had maintained a supercilious hauteur on grubby matters like trade unions and strikes. And the Civil Service has never been the same again. Probably because of its new bare knuckles style, its name was changed from “Civil” Service to “Public” Service. It was now very public about not being civil!!

Fast forward to the PPP returning to office after its 28 years in the wilderness, when under IMF “conditionalities”, Hoyte started pruning the top-heavy institution. The PPP stopped that cold – but did they get any credit – even as their revenues were stretched servicing the humongous debt they’d Inherited? Not that you’d notice after they supported the PNC’s street protests to ostensibly and ostentatiously demand massive wage increases! Eventually the Armstrong Commission gave them a 36% hike in salary and a slew of benefits!

And so the process was repeated with cynical regularity over the years – holding the PPP hostage through their control of the Administrative apparatus of governance – always to further the PNC agenda. All of this came to a screeching halt, of course, when the PNC returned to office in 2015. Even though the APNU had promised them (in writing) a massive pay increase which never materialized!

So now that the PPP is back, of course the GPSU – as a stalking horse for the PNC – is girding its loins for battle. And what do they want? Nothing much: just a 50% increase in salaries, Traveling Allowance; Subsistence Allowance; Meal Allowance; Uniform Allowance; Housing Allowance; Reintroduction of key and critical allowances like Superannuation Benefits; Recreational Facilities; child care centers and a subvention of G$10,000,000 to fund Trade Union Education programs throughout the country.

Now, even though the Govt has set aside $10B for wage contingencies, surely, you’re not naive enough to believe this is the CAUSE of the coming war?
Nah… it’s just the OCCASION!

…against COVID -19?

As your Eyewitness has been warning with raised arms to the heavens, he does so once again this Easter Monday – as the Son of God ascends – that we the people have to stop being so irresponsible about the COVID 19 threat. It’s not a matter of “pulling up our socks” – that concerns only our appearance – while observing COVID 19 precautions will literally save our lives.

If the upward trend in DEATHS isn’t a wakeup call, then you’re putting yourself in danger of not waking up at all. By March 25, a year after our first death, we had 218 fatalities at an average of nearly 19 per month. Since then, we have had 23 deaths in 9 days!! This is very frightening! All we’re hearing is that there is a rise in deaths? And now youths are dying.
Why? Are there new more virulent variants? How will we ever know if – as the MoH says – CARPHA isn’t testing our samples any longer?
What’s the COCID Task Force doing?!

…this Easter

Your Eyewitness’ simple test today to check if at least some citizens are modifying their behavior in view of the COVID 19 pandemic, is to note the number of kites over his neighborhood.
Cut to almost zero!