The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) today inked an agreement paving the way for certain salary increases for field foremen and forewomen in the sugar industry.
The agreement follows a decision by the Corporation to restructure its agricultural department wherein the workers concerned were given additional responsibilities.
In July 2018, the Corporation took a decision to eliminate the posts of Field Chargehand and Field Supervisor and the responsibilities associated with those jobs be assigned to the Foremen/Forewomen and the Field Superintendent.
GuySuCo contended that the changes would streamline operations and promote greater accountability. Arising from the new responsibilities to the foremen/forewomen – who are represented by the GAWU – a new job description was developed to take account of the new circumstances.
The new job description was examined by the joint GAWU/GuySuCo Job Evaluation Committee in August 2018. That evaluation, which was conducted within the framework of the Hay Methodology which the Corporation has been employing for some years now, recognised the need for the workers concerned to benefit from additional payments due to their new responsibilities.
For several months, the GAWU, through a number of correspondences, has been seeking to have the Corporation implement the findings of the Job Evaluation Committee.
GAWU says that its many reminders saw the Corporation engaging the Union last week. At that meeting, the GuySuCo proposed increasing the starting rate of foremen/forewomen by three per cent to $102,484 monthly.
GuySuCo, through its submission, proposed that those Field Chargehands who were promoted to foremen/forewomen following the elimination of their former titles be paid a three per cent increase once their extant salaries were below the new minimum pay level. Those workers who were incumbent foremen/forewomen at the time of the changes will benefit from a four per cent pay rise.
Having heard the Corporation, the Union engaged the workers concerned who agreed with the Corporation’s proposals. With the signing of the agreement, the workers will soon begin to benefit from the new payment rates and will receive payments retroactive to July 2018 when the changes were made.
The workers expressed their appreciation to the GAWU for its efforts in ensuring that they were compensated for their new responsibilities.
This is the first time since 2014 that the Union and the GuySuCo have approved an improvement in salary increase for sugar workers.