[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Trade Unions Congress (GTUC) says while it welcomes the announcement by the APNU+AFC administration that that public servants will receive a year-end bonus, it is not at all pleased with the process that led to that decision.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Union body stated that attention cannot be lost to the fact that government at all times is required to uphold the rule of law.
The Ministry of Finance revealed in a statement on December 14 that a one off tax free payment of fifty thousand ($50,000.) will be made to all active public sector workers earning less than five hundred thousand dollars($500,000.) monthly.
“The payment of this bonus, in the absence of an engagement and concurrence with the trade unions that represent public sector workers is another act of violating Article 147 of the Guyana Constitution and Trade Union Recognition Law Section 23 (1) and transgressing the rights of workers,” the release stated.
The government was put on notice that consistent with industrial relations principle this bonus is now part of the condition of employment for public servants.
“For while an employer can chose to put something in place, that employer has no authority under the law to remove it. As such come 2016 and onward workers shall be entitled to their year-end bonus unless the unions agree otherwise. There is an established precedent.”
Industrial relations is not about gut feeling; it is guided by a body of principles, rules and laws, the body noted.
The GTUC is calling on the government to all times be shrewd in its decision-making and more so to consult in order to make decisions consistent with time honoured principles, laws and rights.
“While this and many other acts may be well intentioned government has to be mindful that the process it engages in does not undermine good intentions and bring disrepute to its stewardship.”