Unions of the University of Guyana – the University of Guyana Workers Union and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association – are extremely disappointed given the fact that the institution’s Council has failed to make any decisions on matters relating to workers during its most recent meeting. In addition to lobbying for an acceptable pay increase for workers, the unions have been calling for a forensic audit into the university’s finances.
The unions in a joint statement issued today said that the meeting’s agenda essentially left the matters relating to the workers for last (these were items 15 and 16 on a 17-item agenda). The only item after these two was ‘Any Other Business’.
“We must ask how committed those who prepared the agenda were to actually discussing the workers’ related items and deciding upon them. The Council made no decision on the matter of the forensic audit, nor did they respond to a request from the Unions to have a special subcommittee set up to deal with human resources issues at the University,” the statement added.
The matters of concern to the unions have moreover been deferred until the next Council meeting, which is tentatively slated for a date in April.
The union has also shared its concern about the failure of the university administration to implement decisions made by the Council. Among its concerns too is the contractual situation of a number of senior administrators. The Unions have therefore brought to the fore the need for the administration to speak to the contracts of a number of senior administrators given that some might be nearing an end. It is, moreover, the desire of the Unions to have the contracts evaluated as part of any contract renewal process.
The University’s Council is charged with ensuring good governance, and according to the unions “we believe that the person currently chairing that Council (Major General (retd) Joseph Singh) should attempt to place that first, before all else.”
In the meantime, the unions opined that “the University’s staff must now consider what options they possess, given that it seems Council cannot be relied on to function as the impartial arbiter it could be and ideally should be.”