PNCR urges restart of Critchlow subvention as sign of good faith towards labour

The main opposition PNCR is sceptical about government’s willingness to engage the Public Service Union on workers issues, saying “action must speak louder than words.”

At its weekly press briefing yesterday made the assertion and recommended that the first step the government should take towards good faith with the unions is to restore the subvention to Critchlow Labour College.

The party’s comments come in wake of comments by government chief spokesperson Dr. Roger Luncheon at the opening of the 18th Biennial Congress of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) at the Pegasus on Wednesday. Luncheon committed to being receptive to a constructive engagement that identified procedures for the two sides to collaboratively deal with the problems confronting workers, in the context of national development.

PNCR MP Basil Williams said the desire for a new era of co-operation with labour is significant but argued that workers will no longer accept empty promises. He added that “unless the president believes that the workers of Guyana are naïve then action must speak louder than words.”

Recommending starting points, Williams said a few measures must include the restoration of the check-off system to the GPSU, the restoration of the annual subvention for the Critchlow Labour College and the appointment of all the persons in acting appointments in the public service. On the latter point, he noted the non appointment of Genevieve Whyte- Nedd as Chief Education Officer. He also said that the government needed to restore collective bargaining for unions representing government workers. “This will represent only a start, but it would at least demonstrate the administration’s willingness to reconcile the interest of these many players to get a win-win situation,” he declared.