Negotiation with Govt was for “living wage” – GPSU

first_imgGPSU President Patrick YardeThe Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) said its engagement with the Government in the wages, salaries and allowances negotiation had a clear goal of seeking out a “a living wage” for public servants, solutions of the de-bunching issue within scales, and addressing the matter of the adequacy of allowances paid to public officers.The two parties are still at a standstill following Government’s announcement on Wednesday that the negotiation had come to an end and that the GPSU is yet to accept a 10 per cent increase offer. The public servants’ representative said the issue has to be discussed at its General Council meeting.“Prior to the start of the negotiations it had been agreed at the level of the union, that, first, an appropriate stage having been reached, our members would be briefed on the unfolding negotiations. It had also been agreed that the position of the Government of Guyana would be put to the General Council of the Union with a view to having it arrive at a determination as to whether that position met with the expectations of the union’s members in the context of the mandate set the negotiating team,” GPSU said in a statement on Thursday evening.It said during the initial period of the discussions, Government’s negotiating team made two offers commencing at the base at 5.5 per cent. They then increased that by .5 to six per cent. The union’s negotiating team rejected both proposals.“The union requested detailed information on several aspects of Government’s revenue and expenditure. Up to this time, these have not been provided. Even in the absence of the requested information the Union proceeded to finalise its own proposals. These were presented on August 9, 2016,” the GPSU statement outlined.Government on Wednesday evening issued a public statement reiterating that its “proposal took into consideration the fundamental need for a restructured public service which included the adjustment of scales for wages and salaries; the implementation of a merit increment system; and a resolution of the issue of de-bunching.”According to the missive released by Reginald Brotherson, head of the Government’s negotiating team, “GPSU agreed to consider Government’s final offer and indicated that a response will be forthcoming after a meeting of its General Council.”The negotiations were conducted within a two-month period from June 22, 2016 to August 24, 2016.The initial proposal of the GPSU was for a 40 per cent across the board increase for public servants, but this was subsequently adjusted to 25 per cent. The union had also demanded that allowances be included in the negotiations.Government responded by proposing that persons earning less than $100,000 be paid a 10 per cent increase while persons earning above $1 million would only get a one per cent increase.The union in its statement listed it wages, salaries and allowances proposals over a three-year period from 2016 to 2018.For the period of 2016, the GPSU proposed that “effective January 1, 2016, a flat increase of seven thousand, five hundred dollars ($7500) per month added to the salary at December 31, 2015 of each person employed in the public service as well as to the amount payable at the minimum and maximum of each of bands one to 14 of the schedule of salary in the public service” in addition to “a 25 per cent increase across the board to the salary of each person employed in the public service as well as to the amount payable at the minimum and maximum of each of bands one to 14 of the schedule of salary in the public service.” With respect to 2017, GPSU proposed “a flat increase of seven thousand dollars ($7000) per month added to the salary at December 31, 2016 of each person employed in the public service as well as to the amount payable at the minimum and maximum of each of bands one to 14 of the schedule of salary in the public service” in addition to “a 20 per cent increase across the board to the salary as at December 2016 of each person employed in the public service as well as to the amount payable at the minimum and maximum of each of bands one to 14 of the schedule of salary in the public service.”While for the third year of 2018, it was proposed by the GPSU that “a flat increase of nine thousand dollars ($9000) per month added to the salary at December 31, 2017 of each person employed in the public service as well as to the amount payable at the minimum and maximum of each of bands one to 14 of the schedule of salary in the public service” in addition to “a 20 per cent increase across the board to the salary as at December 2017 of each person employed in the public service as well as to the amount payable at the minimum and maximum of each of bands one to 14 of the schedule of salary in the public service”The union body also outlined that in respect of each of three years there “shall be an additional increase to cover the inflation as determined by the Bureau of Statistics.”The two-month long collective bargaining process concluded on Thursday without a definite agreement in place, leaving the door open to a unilateral increases by Government should the unions continue to reject the proposals.last_img read more