GTUC flays Gov’t for not consulting Unions on bonus

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President of the GTUC, Lincoln Lewis. [iNews' Photo]
President of the GTUC, Lincoln Lewis. [iNews’ Photo]
[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.”nurses

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.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. If bonuses are strictly between employer and employees, then why is GuySuCo engaging GAWU on production bonuses?
    I am all for increased spending power for Guyanese, but can you say what target did public servants achieve that qualify them for this year end bonuses?

  2. Stanley,
    I beg to differ! It was the coalition, while on the campaign trail and as per its manifesto, that promised to make working with the local trade union bodies a goal to be pursued.
    The coalition, without consulting the TUC, came up with a decision to pay public servants a meagre wage and salary increase after promising around 10% on the campaign trail. The reasoning everyone bought into for the reduced percentage was the PPP left the treasury empty.
    For the coalition to now come up with this bonus without even consulting the TUC is a slap in the face of the TUC. Yes, a bonus is at the discretion of the employer, but it is tantamount to undermining the role and relevance of the TUC for the government to make a decision to pay public servants without involving the TUC in discussions.
    In fact, this behavior runs against the coalition’s claim that it supports and promotes inclusive governance. How can this be inclusive governance when twice in less than a year the coalition made decisions to pay public servants money without including the TUC in discussions on the payouts?
    Please note that the coalition is actually in discussions with GAWU over wage talks and incentive payouts for sugar workers, and this begs the vexing question: Why the hell does the coalition feel it can blatantly disrespect the very groups that supported its bid to take power from the corrupt PPP?

  3. Bonus is a matter that concerns an employer and its employee which rule said I must consult a Third party if I want to give a tap up to anyone. These Unions have or want their tentacle to be too far reaching. Do the workers care if you were consulted or not, didn’t see or hear you were asking for any bonus it was a gratis from the boss.

    Incentive and bonus at all time stays within the realm of the employer and not the Unions

  4. To quote the GTUC “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.” What the Unions should be mindful of is their days of using workers as their means of exercising power over employers are rapidly diminishing, and employers who are bestowing favors on employers and exercising compassion, care and understanding for the well being of their employees, are not and cannot be subjected to any process that inhibits or seeks consent for their benevolence.

  5. That’s what DICTATORS do it’s their way or the highway reminds me of the PNC days..keeping reading more to come IDI Amin at his best.Take a close look at Haiti thats were we are heading rapidly.

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