Gov’t awaiting counter-proposal from Union as Wages negotiations continue
Negotiations between Government and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is ongoing with the government currently awaiting a counter-proposal from the union. This was disclosed by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
During his post-Cabinet media briefing on Thursday, Harmon said “Negotiations are still going on, we have not reached a deadlock. We haven’t broken off talks or anything like that. They’re going. We are waiting for a counter -proposal now, which we will have to consider.”
Two joint statements have been made with regards to the wages and salaries negotiations, thus far. The Minister indicated that he did not wish to comment more on the matter.
The wage talks began on June 22. The union had stated that it is pushing for a 40% increase, however, President of the union, Patrick Yarde, said he hopes the negotiations will not be just another show, as was done under the previous administration when the union’s positions would be disregarded and an increase would be imposed.
In 2015, public servants were given an increase ranging from 5% to 26% depending on their salary scale.
However, during the presentation of the 2016 national budget, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan stated that “announcement on salary increases for public servants, for 2016, has to await the conclusion of discussions with the relevant unions. The Government understands the disappointment this will create among public servants, but wishes to assure them of our commitment to their welfare and advancement. We ask that they give the collective bargaining process an opportunity to work.” This is in keeping with one of the administration’s promises during the 2015 General and Regional elections.
Under the previous government, the unions complained of being sidetracked when the administration gave its annual wage increase.
Leading government’s delegation is Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Presidency, Reginald Brotherson.