By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Georgetown Mayor & City Council (M&CC) says it is capable of paying the five percent increase and uniform allowance that was agreed to by the full Council and the Guyana Local Government Officers Union, (GLGOU) during negotiations recently.
Staffers at the M&CC have gone on strike, commencing this morning; forcing the closure of all city markets, the abattoir and other municipal centers.
The over 250 employees who are members of the GLGOU are protesting the failure of the Council to pay them wage and salary increases and other allowances. On Thursday last, the Union had given the M&CC a 48-hour ultimatum threatening appropriate industrial action.
During a press conference at the Mayor’s Office this morning, Deputy Mayor Patricia Chase-Green explained in detail the events that led to the shutdown.
She blamed Town Clerk (ag) Carol Sooba for this unfortunate incident, while sympathizing with the hundreds of vendors whose livelihoods are being affected.
The Deputy Mayor explained that the two unions proposed a five percent increase and an increase of uniform allowance from $9,000 to $12,000. An agreement was met between the Council and the GLGOU.
The same decision was arrived at after meeting with the Guyana Labour Union (GLU).
An meeting is expected to be held tomorrow, Tuesday December 16 at 14:00hrs to deal with the demands made by the GLGOU.
“If that meeting is called as we said to the union at mid night tonight as long as we have the majority of councillors there the money will be approved. Personnel section has already made up all that money send to the treasurers department, it has to be approved by a full council. Ms Sooba could not insult the integrity of this council by sending this document, a piece of paper for us to pay out millions of dollars,” Chase – Green told the media.
Chase-Green is refusing to sign the piece of paper that was sent to her by Sooba to sign.
“I will not sign it and the Councillors have agreed that they will not sign it, they want a properly convened meeting so it can be approved and tabled in a document like format.”
She explained that there is nothing they can do since the law says such huge sums have to be approved by a full Council.
When iNews visited the Bourda Market around 7:00 hours this morning, some vendors were locked in while others could not gain access to the premises which was guarded by big padlocks on the gates. The situation has riled up