Updated on Friday 26 November 2021, 08:56 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali on Friday called on unions to accept the retroactive increase in wages and salaries of 7 percent for this year, and dismissed the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) call for full payment of the 10 billion GY dollars allocated to annual fees.
“I call on the unions to take off their political hats, to take off their political hats and to put on their reality hats, the equity hats and, overall, they too should applaud the government,” he said. stated in a more than 30-minute improvised reaction to criticism of the general wage increase.
The President, however, has remained aloof from repeated calls by the GTUC and its members – the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) to bargain collectively on wages, salaries and other working conditions. In light of global economic conditions, he said many other countries have suspended wage negotiations while others like the UK have frozen wages from 2020 to 2022, and a number of Commonwealth countries. Caribbean have not increased offered wages since 2015 while others have increased by 4%. percent.
Dr Ali said some categories of civil servants are expected to get further salary increases next year after staff rationalization is completed on the basis of qualifications and comparable positions. “It’s for the specialized skill sets, the special education sets that the country needs,” he said.
Seeking to justify the 7% increase in his administration’s salaries for 2021, he referred to the cash grants that had been paid to Guyanese since the return to power of his Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in August 2020. âThis is why we said that we are not only focusing on wages, we are also focusing on welfare because welfare measures are putting more money back in the pockets of public servants, increasing thus the power of disposable income, âhe said.
Earlier this week, the GTUC called on the government to pay the GY $ 10 billion that was allocated in 2021 for public sector salaries and thus offer a 14% salary increase for this year, in line with the surge. the cost of living. This union body gave the Guyanese government until December 3, 2021 to give in to its demand, but did not specify what the next step would be.
But the president explained that the GY $ 10 billion was not only for wages and salaries, but also for adjusting wages during the year when promotions and hiring additional people.