The Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (GPTWU) said it remained appalled by the proposal submitted by GTT in relation to the increase in wages and salaries for workers.
According to Union, GTT has offered an across-the-board increase of one per cent in wages and salaries to unionised employees from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021, and a measly increase of one and a half per cent for October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022.
The membership supports the Union’s proposal of 13.5 per cent and 11 per cent respectively since over the past five years, GTT has only offered an average of three and a half per cent to its long-serving and dedicated employees.
The GPTWU said, however, GTT has rejected its proposal, and as such, it has been forced to write the Chief Labour Officer requesting conciliation.
“Emanating from the first meeting held on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, it is apparent, at least up to the point of adjournment, the company was not prepared to offer its dedicated, long-serving employees any increase in wages, salaries, and it now becomes obvious that the mantra “together we rise” is a camouflage,” the GPTWU said in a statement to the press.
The Union said that biennially, it would meet with GTT’s management to negotiate wages and salaries, and allowances. It said that GTT has within its employ, highly skilled, dedicated, and long-serving employees who continue to stand and support the company in the face of competition.
The GPTWU added, “The parity of what exists within GTT compared to other companies with a skilled labour force is disheartening. For decades, increments remain stagnant. Movements within the salary scales appear to be dormant. Salary cuts ranging between five to 10 per cent were implemented for a period of six months (May to October 2020) during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Union noted that the management of GTT must be cognisant of the reality that Guyana was now an oil-producing nation, and the demand today for experienced and highly skilled labour was much greater. It further noted that this could pose a significant challenge for the company, since local and international companies continue to seek out the cream of the crop that exists.
“The membership is aware that the company continues to make huge profits; profits derived from their hard work and dedication to the tasks. This was evident before the COVID-19 pandemic, and presently. None of the technical departments within the company were closed and members of staff continued to work, with reduced income throughout a six-month period without hesitation or complaint.”