Auditor General to probe University of Guyana finances

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The University of Guyana administration Thursday afternoon said it welcomes an audit into its finances by the Auditor General.

The audit was at the request of unions representing staff at the University.

The Ministry of Education, in a recent letter to the University of Guyana Council, advised them of the audit.

“The Administration welcomes the opportunity to clear the air on the allegations and assertions by the unions and other individuals,” Vice- Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith said in a statement.

“We have long indicated such, both directly to the UG Unions and in my two recent memoranda to the University community,” he added.

In a statement, the University said that in January of this year, the Administration told the two unions that it could not pay further salary increases for 2018, having paid a four per cent salary increase to academic staff and three per cent to non- academic staff, both tax-free, in December 2018.

When the Unions resumed picketing at Turkeyen on March 15, the University said the Vice Chancellor reiterated the Administration’s willingness to have an audit done by an independent Arbiter.

He also indicated that the Administration had decided to turn the dispute over to the Labour Department for conciliation.

According to the University, the current impasse follows the initiative by Pro-Chancellor Major Gen. (Ret.) Joseph Singh to facilitate some “Listening Sessions” with the Unions and the Administration by a three-member panel of the University Council, and the Vice-Chancellor’s March 8 invitation to meet with the Unions to resume the negotiations proved futile.

The UG Administration said talks with the unions should not focus exclusively on salaries but that performance and a Collective Bargaining Agreement also should be discussed.

Meanwhile, the Administration said it is awaiting a response from the unions to its weeks-old request for several documents as part of efforts to be consistent in the pursuit of accountability and transparency.

The documents sought include their Articles of Association, Certificates of Recognition, Statements of Income and Expenditure for recent years, and recent Annual Returns and audited statements.

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