Minimum wage to be increased to $60K; 2017 salary increases to cost $3.5B
The Government has announced ahead of the presentation of the 2018 National Budget that the minimum wage will be increased to $60,000 for public servants. The current minimum wage is $55,000 per month.
This disclosure was made by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at a Post Cabinet media briefing on Thursday.
Meanwhile, he also disclosed the offer made to the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) for salary increases for public servants for 2017. The Minister said government offered to pay an 8% increase to persons working between $55,000 to $99,000 per month; 6% for persons earning $100,000 to $299,999; 5% for persons earning $300,000 to $499,999; 4% for persons earning $500,000 to 699,999 and 2% for persons earning $700,000 to $899,999 per month.
According to Harmon, the increases will be retroactive to January 2017 and will cost the Government some $3.5B. He added that over 14000 persons in the public service stand to benefit from the increases.
The GPSU and the Department of Public Service on Monday met to advance discussions on the wage increase for 2017—a discussion which commenced on September 26, 2017, however, the Union rejected the offer made by the government.
The union said they had given a proposal sometime last year that should be reviewed and promised to resubmit those proposals.
The Government’s negotiating team was led by Head of the Department of Public Service and Permanent Secretary, Reginald Brotherson and Head of Political Affairs, Ministry of the Presidency, Frederick McWilfred, while the GPSU’s team was headed by President of the Union, Patrick Yarde and other executives. The team is expected to meet within another week.
According to the statement, the Government is looking to have the matter settled in time for Budget 2018. Budget 2018 will be presented on November 27.
In 2016, the Government gave the union a final offer of 10 percent increase in salaries for public servants working earning below $99, 000, and had made an offer of 1-6% for other categories of workers.