Over 70% of GPL employees to benefit from 6% salary increase
After months of negotiations, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the workers’ representative body have reached an agreement that will see over 700 subordinate employees receiving a six per cent pay hike.
This means that roughly 75 per cent of total staffing at GPL will benefit from the payout which addresses increases for the year 2021, totalling over $200 million.
The six per cent is an increase from a four per cent offer GPL had placed on the table weeks ago.
The agreement was signed between GPL management led by Deputy Chief Executive Officer Renford Homer; Bal Persaud, Divisional Director for Human Resources and representatives of the union – the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) at the Ministry of Labour on Thursday.
According to Homer, the occasion was notable since it marked the amicable conclusion of talks on wages and salaries.
“It started with frustration expressed by the other… management [at GPL] also had its challenges,” Homer added while acknowledging that throughout the talks, cordial relationships were maintained.
Homer maintained, however, that GPL was still facing financial challenges and losses but has managed to find fiscal space in response to the increase in the cost of living and the associated complaints of employees.
Chief Labour Officer (CLO) Dhaneshwar Deonarine was present and said he was particularly happy to conclude the agreement.
“At times, I thought it would come to me for conciliation. So, when I say I’m happy and pleased I really mean it.”
The union has indicated that they will immediately commence talks for 2022.
General Secretary (ag) of NAACIE Karen Matt also joined in to register her joy at the conclusion of what she said was a tiring process.
“I’m very happy we came to an end and we look forward to a better position in 2022… I’m so grateful.”
Asked about the negotiation of a multiyear collective labour agreement, Homer said while it is not off the table, it would require much more time and effort to reach an agreement on that.