By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A decision taken by the APNU+AFC Government to increase the salaries and emoluments for Government Ministers and Members of Parliament is not sitting well with labour unions in Guyana.
In an Extraordinary Official Gazette published on September 25, it was noted that the order for the increases was made on September 23, by Finance Minister Winston Jordan.
In an invited comment on Tuesday, GAWU General Secretary Komal Chand told iNews that the increase is “callous” on the part of the government.
“I think it is callous to have the public servants on the minimum wage and they have now approved for themselves massive increase. When you take into account the increases and the allowances it is more than a 100%,” said Chand.
The Union head stated that the “little increase” public servants would have been given would now be rescinded since the country’s coffers would need more monies to sustain the increases.
According to the order, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo will now be paid $20,580,000 per annum which works out to just over $1.7M per month.
Vice Presidents will receive $11,135,064 per annum or $927,000 per month.
Senior government Ministers are slated for a $10M annual salary at 869,000 per month while Junior Ministers will receive close to $700,000 per month.
Parliamentarians will also be paid $2, 402,532 each year. Increases were also given to the Chief Whips and the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
The Leader of the Opposition is slated to receive $10M per month. However, Bharrat JAgdeo has indicated that he will not be accepting that salary as he is currently reciving his presidential pension.
In August, Governance Minister Raphael Trotman had said that APNU+AFC administration will not be making any immediate steps to increase the salaries of its officials.
Trotman at a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday August 05, however made it clear that while the salaries are currently being reviewed, it will not be implemented any time soon.
In fact, Trotman told reporters that that government has noted with some amount of “amusement” the 100% hike in salaries being quoted in some sections of the media.