The Mayor and City Councillors (M&CC) are bracing for an anticipated strike by city workers beginning today, over unpaid wages that are due to 22 percent of the work force.
“The Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown wishes to bring to the attention of the general public that yesterday [Tuesday] November 14, 2017, the Chairman of the Council’s Finance Committee, Mr. Oscar Clarke and Officials of the City’s Administration met with representatives of the two Unions representing employees of the Council, the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) and Guyana Labour Union (GLU),” the M&CC announced in a press release last evening.
The meeting was called at the behest of the Finance Chairman to discuss with the Unions the Council’s current financial position, according to the statement.
“At that meeting, the Chairman explained to the representatives that there was a delay in the payment of wages and salaries to workers because of the financial challenges facing the Council“, it said.
According to the press release, Finance Chairman Clarke said that anticipated revenue from certain revenue earning projects had not been met because of various reasons.
“The Council views worker’s welfare as its highest priority and is doing all thing[s] practical to honour its obligation to its workers,” Clarke was quoted in the M&CC release, as saying.
“The Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) had given the Council a (72) seventy-two hours ultimatum to pay its members commencing from Monday November 11, 2017 to Wednesday November 15, 2017 or face strike action; the ultimatum has expired today [yesterday], Wednesday November 15, 2017,” the M & CC statement said.
At of the end of the working day, yesterday, [Wednesday, November 15 ], the Council’s statement said that the City had only been able to pay approximately seventy eight percent (78%) of its total work force, and as a result, “the Council anticipates that the Guyana Local Government Officer Union (GLGOU), would follow through with strike action.”
According to the M&CC’s press release, the City’s Administration, aware that it provides vital municipal services, has put in place contingency measures so that essential services and facilities would continue to be operable and functional. These include; drainage, sluices and pumps, garbage collection and disposal, markets and allied facilities, collection of general rates and other revenues and security.
The statement said the services which would be affected by the anticipated action of the union are; Day Care Services, Maternal and Child Welfare Services, Environmental Health and the Municipal Abattoirs.