The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has written to President, Dr Irfaan Ali to discuss the government’s recent 7% salary increase to public servants. The GTUC believes that a larger percentage should have been announced. See below a letter penned by GTUC’s General Secretary to President Ali.
Dear His Excellency,
The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has had an opportunity to discuss with the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), the recent decision of your Government to pay seven percent (7%) increase in wages for Public Servants for 2021.
The two abovementioned unions are the principal unions representing public servants but there are also other unions representing public servants. The principal unions reject the decision of the Government. They do this in light of the rampant inflation affecting workers and the sharp increase in the cost of living.
Your Excellency, you are also aware that the National Assembly approved $10 Billion in the 2021 budget for increases in pay to Public Servants. This line item appears under the Ministry of Finance, in the estimates.
The 7% proposal, amounts to about $4.2 Billion (gross) cost to the treasury. This amount is taxed, so the treasury claws back some of this money; in the circumstances, and based upon consultations within our unions, we now urgently request a meeting with you to discuss the way forward.
It is not unreasonable to demand that the monies approved by the National Assembly, be paid for the purpose so directed, which would be slightly above 14%.
You are also aware that Guyana is now an oil economy and the traditional economy is no longer an argument and the low wage structure must now be a thing of the past.
We expect to hear from your office by Friday 3rd December 2021 at 15:30 hours.
It would be remiss of us if, at this meeting, we did not seek to obtain a return to Collective Bargaining, as required by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions.