GTUC alarmed key constitutional commissions still inactive

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is alarmed that key constitutional commissions necessary for good governance remain inactive.

The Public Service Commission, the Public Service Appellate Tribunal and the Police Service Commission, constitutional bodies responsible for the appointment of public servants and police officers and addressing their grievances, remain inactive, the group noted in a press release.

“These institutions are constitutionally mandated and the failure to institute these constitutional offices speaks to a flagrant violation of the Constitution of Guyana that the President, the Members of his Cabinet and all Parliamentarians have a duty to and have sworn to uphold. All Members of Parliament are held accountable as are the President and his cabinet,” it said.

The GTUC is alarmed at the disregard shown for establishing these bodies and the resultant impact of not having them in place since “many workers are denied the opportunity to be appointed positions they have been acting in. Workers continue to receive inappropriate remuneration for the jobs they do and are also denied the right to a hearing by the Public Service Appellate Tribunal in matters of discipline. This violates a fundamental right of workers and undermines democracy.”

As such, the union is calling on the president, leader of the government business in the National Assembly and the opposition leader to put in place without delay mechanisms for the appointment of these three commissions.

At the same time, the GTUC notes government’s willingness to put in place mechanisms to move closer to the constitutional mandate of an independent judiciary where money will now be directly drawn from the Consolidated fund and will now become law with assent of the 2014 Appropriation Bill (the Budget). The group also notes the realization of the financial restructuring came as a result of the opposition’s activism in the House.

“This marks another milestone in the nation’s development as we move to strengthen and give true meaning to the independence (and checks and balances) of the three branches of government. This accomplishment also informs of the opposition’s capability to oversee and ensure adherence to the Constitution”, the GTUC said.

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