The National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) yesterday announced that it has signed an “historic agreement” with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for increase of wages/salary for workers in categories for junior staff which also saw the union accepting 5% increase for its workers for last year and this year.
According to a release from the union, the agreement was signed last week Thursday for the junior staff which includes 143 jobs and private salaried workers, which includes 18 jobs.
The agreement, the release said was arrived at after the union’s recognition of the “unfair salary structure and payment arising out of the across the board payments since in the 1980s, where all workers were rewarded a wage/salary that was known as minimum wage but which was actually the maximum that a worker was entitled to when doing a particular job.”
The union explained that the industrial term of bunching was very apparent through this system and workers on the job with years of experience were at or just over the bare minimum of the scales.
The recently signed agreement does not treat the different categories with receipt of the similar increases but treats each group of jobs selected through a job evaluation exercise done jointly between the union and the corporation. Additionally, through the system of a salary survey done jointly for similar jobs in the Guyanese job market a 60% span from the mean of the survey was treated as the minimum of the new scales whereby causing an increase of the old scales.
Added to this, the release said, is a 2% increase for each year of work in a particular job up to 10 years making some workers 10 years and over entitled to 20% further increase, while persons with one year are entitled to 2% further increase.
And finally, the union agreed to accept the offer of a 5% increase for 2010 and a 5% for 2011 respectively made by the corporation.
The union said it feels it is an acceptable solution even though it had battled over one decade to reach this far. It said discussions will continue.
While NAACIE has accepted the 5% increase President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand said his union is still in discussion with GuySuCo, but no agreement has been met.
“We are still talking, we are discussing other benefits we have not reached that far as yet,” Chand told Stabroek News.
He said that the two sides are to meet some time this week but the date will be set by GuySuCo.
Last week Chand had told Stabroek News that the union had requested a 12% wage increase for workers while the corporation is holding firm to a five per cent offer it made earlier this year citing its dire financial situation.
He had said that the wage talks were on hold as the corporation prepares statements on its revenue base and outstanding debts.
Chand had noted that a decision has been taken to address other concerns in the interim, including the conditions of work.
He had said there is a need for improvement in certain areas and the corporation has agreed to address the concerns raised by the union.