GPSU says disappointed with govt’s “frustration” of wage talks

Patrick Yarde

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has expressed profound disappointment over the absence of formal negotiations for wage increases for public servants.

Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference on Wednesday, President of the GPSU Patrick Yarde, said that the union is in a “peculiar” situation, and is dissatisfied with what he says is government’s practice of frustrating negotiations near the end of the year.

 He explained that though they were given assurances that the practice would be remedied, it remains the same.

Added to that, he said, is the fact that the negotiator in the agreement that they have signed is the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Department of the Ministry of the Presidency, a post that is now vacant.

Stabroek News understands that the position was previously held by Reginald Brotherson, who has since retired.

 Notwithstanding, Yarde explained that prior to the post being vacated, promises were made to meet with the union to discuss conditions of service for public servants, however, those promises never materialized.

This, he said, prompted him to pen a letter to President David Granger highlighting the union’s frustrations over the failed attempts to meet; a second letter was dispatched after the position was vacated, however, the issue remains unsettled.

Stabroek News understands that the matter was scheduled to be discussed further at GPSU’s executive council meeting held this past Friday.

In the meantime, Yarde offered the assurance that public servants can expect that the GPSU, as has been its practice, will not accept anything that it considers to be inadequate.

When asked to elaborate on what “adequate” was in the eyes of the GPSU, the union president noted that because many public servants are living on “poverty wages”, the union will do its best to lobby for the benefits of public servants.

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