GPSU President calls on gov’t to be `fair, responsible and mature’ in decision making

Patrick Yarde

Government has got to make good on its promises to workers in order to restore confidence and trust, President of the Guyana Public Service Union, Patrick Yarde has posited.

Yarde, in a New Year’s message, expressed concern at the rate of progress made by the union over the past decades, opining that it was the imposition of politicians that hindered improvements for workers.

“We are not pleased with the progress we have made over this period of almost three decades, even though it is evident that we have made tremendous impact. Our greatest obstacles were two-faced politicians and the hypocrites and opportunists that were collaborating with them,” the GPSU President said in his statement.

He noted that while the goals of the GPSU remained the same with the appointment of the APNU+AFC government in 2015, the government failed to come through on commitments made on several fronts.

“…We felt relieved and were convinced that we would be engaging in a very positive environment, working collectively towards recovery from all the ruthless experiences we encountered in the past. These conclusions were premised on previous discussions – clearly agreed to common grounds identified and undertakings and assurances given. Regrettably, this was not forthcoming. Even where it was most desired and did not involve any expenditure, these assurances were not met and the inclusiveness that was assured was not available,” he stated.

He asserted that this lack of action can have grave implications.

“…there are serious and very fundamental concerns that prevail regarding crucial matters still unattended to that are clearly abusive and highlight glaring cases of the display of executive lawlessness. This situation is negatively impacting on the Union and obstructing effective representation in our members’ interest. Clearly, many of them are being exposed to unfair treatment,” Yarde stated, making specific mention to the sweepers/cleaners in schools and the unfair treatment many of them are exposed to.

Yarde called for action to be taken by the government to “to correct the prevailing perception that undermines the trust and confidence” in their leadership.

“…Assurances that were given must receive immediate attention and be fulfilled. There must be compliance and unwavering commitment to respect ILO Conventions that are in place to enforce labour laws. Trade union rights are human rights and must be respected. Collective Labour Agreements must be honoured and workers’ rights must be seen and treated as priorities,” he reminded.

“My members, I call upon you to be fair, responsible and mature in your thinking and decision making while being relentless in your demands that previous commitments are met…Finally, displaying sincerity that workers will value when treated even-handedly and fairly will build trust, be motivating and definitely contribute to the environment that is needed to move our nation forward in harmony. Such an environment the GPSU will wholeheartedly support and fully cooperate with,” Yarde said.

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