GRA staff now formally represented by GPSU
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) formally recognising the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) as the bargaining authority for its employees.
Currently, only 40% of the GRA staff are signed up as members of the GPSU but with the revenue body formally recognising the union, GRA Commissioner-General Godfrey Statia believes that more persons will come onboard.
“The agreement covers only members of the union…that will be just over 40% or 500 persons. It is for the union now to go on a recruitment drive,” Statia told members of the media after signing the document at the Department of Labour’s Brickdam, Georgetown office.
The agency employs close to 1,300 persons, according to Statia, and with the union in place, negotiations will be more streamlined because it was previously done on an ad hoc basis.
“Especially when you’re dealing with wages and salaries and working conditions, you would find that now that you have one union that you can talk to, you expect that there will be an improvement in workers’ welfare and efficiency,” the Commissioner-General noted.
The President of the GPSU, Patrick Yarde said efforts to represent workers of GRA began over a decade ago but previous administrations did not welcome the idea.
He assured the GRA of upholding a cordial relationship going forward.
“I can assure the GRA that the Guyana Public Service Union will be very professional in its approach, very objective, while we will undoubtedly place emphasis on members’ rights, elevation and benefits, we will also look at the viability and development of GRA,” Yarde said.
Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle said the two parties have to negotiate a Collective Labour Agreement which will include the conditions of employment and hours of work.