APNU+AFC administration has not lived up to its commitments in relation to public servants

Dear Editor,

We in the GPSU have every reason to look forward to the New Year. The year that is now behind us was eventful in more ways than one and suffice  to say, that we look forward to 2018 being a better year for our members.

Betterment, of course, has to be derived, in the first instance, from our relationship with our members’ employer, the Government of Guy-ana. We have done our own painstaking evaluation of that relationship and the conclusion that we reached  is that much is left to be desired.

In various ways and on various occasions since the accession of the APNU+AFC administration to office, the GPSU had alluded to its desire for a qualitative change in its relationship with government. I say, unhesitatingly that our wish still remains to be fulfilled. We had hoped, perhaps above all else, that the winds of change would bring with them a relationship grounded in principle, in trust and in an enhanced official recognition of the critical importance of our members, the nation’s public servants.

Our biggest, bittersweet disappointment has to do with what we believe to be the volte face executed by the APNU+AFC administration with regard to its undertaking whilst in opposition to focus frontally on a number of burning issues impacting both on the livelihoods and conducive work environment to augment the performance of public servants. Here, it is apposite to recall some of those issues including:

1.The reinstatement of the agency fees agreement

2.The issuing of outstanding certifications of recognition

3.The finalization of the Recogni-tion Agreement to represent employees of the Guyana Revenue Authority

4.The restoration of Collective Bargaining

5.Remuneration of fair and realistic allowances

6.Debunching and payment of in scale increments

7.The full and meaningful implementation of the Cabinet decision for Sweeper/Cleaners and

8.The return of GPSU real estate seized by the PPP/C Administration and the administration‘s tangible and meaningful support for the full and effective operation of the GPSU Sports Complex which exists for the recreation of its members and adjourning communities.

The neglect of these issues, to this very date, we say unapologetically, is reflective of an unacceptable absence of appreciation for the sacrifice and the attendant suffering which Public Servants continue to endure in the hope of ‘a better day.’

The GPSU had hoped, as well, that the APNU+AFC administration would set its face against the unwanted intervention by the ‘dead hand’ of political intervention in the workings of the Public Service of our country. That, decidedly, has not been the case. Recently, elements of the incumbent administration deemed it appropriate to ‘engineer’ the return to the Public Service  of a functionary who was removed from government employ for valid disciplinary reasons. Additionally, there have been several acts in conflict with the legitimate decisions of constitutional bodies. We condemn these acts of political interference and the institutions responsible for their administration.

No one can justifiably deny the protracted struggles of our members against the backdrop of numerous challenges. At this time we reflect on those commitments offered by the present political administration during its tenure in opposition to place the welfare and well-being of Public Servants much higher on government’s agenda. We say, regrettably, but without fear of contradiction, that there exists no persuasive evidence that it has kept its word. Politicians on all sides of the political divide continue to evince what, in our view, is an absence of sufficient regard for the value of the Public Servant. Here, it is not only a question of their labour being decidedly undervalued but also the value of their capabilities being cast aside.

It remains the position of the GPSU that the quality of its relationship with government can be measured only in terms of the extent to which the administration holding office demonstrates a strong and transparent mindfulness for the interests of our members. In this regard the GPSU wishes to restate its continued willingness to work with the incumbent administration towards that end though we wish to make clear our determination to remain unrelenting and uncompromising in our quest to compel the government to honor its promises and its obligations.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick Yarde

GPSU President

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