By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – “It meant no disrespect to the Unions,” said Governance Minister, Raphael Trotman as he explained why the government did not consult with the Unions over the year-end bonus for public servants.
Government recently announced a $50,000 bonus for public servants earning under $500,000 and while the bonus was welcomed, the Guyana Public Service Union and the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) have flayed the government for not consulting with the unions first.
GTUC in a statement to the media noted that “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.”
Questioned by iNews on Wednesday December 16 at a post cabinet media briefing, Trotman said that the government did not flout the law.
In fact, he argued that had government pursued the route of consulting the unions, this process might have stretched into 2016 – much to the agony of public servants who were eagerly awaiting the announcement of a bonus.
“We have Christmas coming and there is every likelihood that next week will be a shortened week. Any protracted deliberations on whether or not public servants should be given their $50,000; I rather suspect that it would have been given out in 2016. I think government took a decision that it thought was in the best interest of the workers by going out to pay them and it meant no disrespect to the unions,” said Trotman.