Labour officials intervene but still no decision on pay increase for GPL employees

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Following a breakdown in negotiations between the management of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the workers’ representative body, officials at the Labour Ministry facilitated a meeting between the two sides on Thursday but no agreement has been reached on the payment of wage increases to workers for 2021.

Up against new pressure from union bodies to offer a seven per cent salary increase to its more than 750 employees, GPL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bharat Dindyal had said that such a payout cannot be afforded nor sustained.

At the close of Thursday’s meeting, GPL still did not place an offer on the table but another meeting is set for January 13, 2022.

“This next meeting, we are hoping it will be more fruitful and beneficial.

Dornel McFarlane, an Executive of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE)

“We hope that we can get the seven per cent but we hear from the company that they have to first have undertaking from the Board,” Dornel McFarlane, an Executive of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) told the News Room after the meeting.

GPL’s management, including one of its Executives, Renford Homer declined to offer any comments on this occasion.

The News Room understands that while a three-year collective labour agreement was previously being addressed, the discussions now are only focused on increases for 2021.

It was only in May 2021 that GPL paid a five per cent salary increase for 2020 in keeping with an agreement reached with NAACIE.

The increase amounted to some $200 million. According to that agreement, the five per cent is regarded as a full and final settlement of all claims for increases in remuneration for the year 2020.

Then, the two sides had agreed to urgently consider the proposals for a revised Collective Labour Agreement for the period 2021 – 2023.

At a March 22, 2021 meeting, the union had asked GPL to pay the workers seven per cent for 2021 and nine per cent for 2022.

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