Georgetown, Guyana – (August 12, 2015) In light of statements by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) that it was not consulted during the preparation of the 2015 Budget and neither was it happy with the salary increases given to public servants, Minister of State Joseph Harmon has said that limited consultations were as a result of the time constraint to produce the Budget.
He however assured that the GPSU will be consulted for the preparation of the 2016 National Budget.
The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) in a press statement days after the Budget was presented in the National Assembly, had stated that it was not impressed with the government increases and was disappointed that they were not included in the consultations.
“This is an increase which is temporary. It has not been subjected to the type of negotiations with the unions because of the time taken for this budget,” Minister Harmon said.
The Minister of State, however, disclosed that the government will be appointing a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the operations and structures in the public sector, during the course of this week, which will be headed by Professor Harold Lutchman.
The mandate of the COI, he said, will be to examine the current salaries of public servants, pay per qualification, existing working conditions and facilities, training, promotion and educational opportunities among a host of other areas and a report will be prepared.
“You cannot pay public servants peanuts and expect quality service,” Minister Harmon told media operatives.
During the COI, public servants would be presented with the opportunity to give evidence and to share what their troubles, challenges and difficulties are without the fear of being victimised.
“Public servant wages, increases of salaries and so on, will be part of that process, which we hope to get started by next week… so that in the next budget cycle, apart from honouring our commitment to collective bargaining, we will put in place that commission which will allow for the union and the public service to make presentations to commission,” he said.