The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) earlier today inked its first Collective Labour Agreement (CLA).
The 16-page agreement addresses 33 clauses on a range of matters. Some 36 workers are expected to benefit.
Among the issues considered by the CLA are the payment of overtime, annual leave, subsistence allowance, meals allowance, hazard allowance, the mechanism for promotion, sickness leave, occupational safety and health (OSH), among a host of other conditions.
A new feature in the CLA regards the provision of Paternity Leave where fathers would receive one month’s leave with pay on the birth of their child. It is the first time the GAWU has been able to negotiate such condition.
During a simple signing activity at the Ministry of Labour, GAWU’s General Secretary Aslim Singh expressed the satisfaction that the agreement was reached at the bilateral level.
He noted that through frank and full discourses, issues were fully ventilated and each side had the opportunity to make their points-of-view known. This, he held, augured well for the relationship between the parties as the General Secretary indicated the Union looked forward to fruitful relations with the GGB.
GGB’s General Manager, Eondrene Thompson who offered remarks expressed the Board’s delight in reaching the point of signing the agreement. She said the Board recognised the importance of ensuring employees were comfortable and that the discussions took place in a manner which lend to mutually satisfactory outcomes.
Chief Labour Officer, Dhaneshwar Deonarine congratulated the parties on behalf of the Ministry. He noted that the Ministry was pleased to have the parties being able to settle the agreement bilaterally as he expressed best wishes to both parties.
The GAWU in latter 2021 secured bargaining rights on behalf of the employees of the Board. Since our recognition, GAWU has been working with the workers in developing and negotiating the CLA.
Apart from that, the Union has been able to address a few other issues in the interest of the workers. The GAWU is pleased that it has been able to continue to advance the interest of workers.