Georgetown, Guyana – (October 16, 2017) The Government of Guyana and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), today, met to advance discussions on the proposed salary increases for public servants for 2017.
The Government’s side, which was led by Head of the Department of Public Service and Permanent Secretary, Mr. Reginald Brotherson and Head of Political Affairs, Ministry of the Presidency, Mr. Frederick McWilfred met with President of the GPSU, Mr. Patrick Yarde and other executive officers of the union.
In providing an update on the discussions, which commenced on September 26, 2017, Mr. Brotherson said that the meeting had the spirit of cordiality and discussions were frank and open. He noted that the Government has put forward an offer to the Union for consideration.
“The Government has given an offer for 2017, again, it’s based on last year’s formula and, in fact, the Government can only give an offer that the economy can afford at this point in time. The Union has rejected it. They, of course, had indicated that they had given a proposal some time last year that should be re-looked. They promise to resubmit those proposals and we look forward for those proposals, but in the interim the Government of Guyana has given an offer to the Union for them to look at and for them to reconsider,” he said.
PS Brotherson said that the team has also agreed to start looking at allowances in a general way, particularly those allowances that have not been changed for almost three decades. “So we are trying to move the process forward but everything has got to be done in the context of what the economy can afford at this point in time. The issue of allowances is still on the table to be looked at in a holistic manner and I think the union finally acceded to that fact that allowances is going to take some time for us to look at,” he said.
With the team expected to meet within another week once information requested would have been provided, Mr. Brotherson said that the Government is looking to have the discussions concluded in time for Budget 2018. “The 2018 budget is almost upon us. We implore upon the Union that any action they take, or they want to address, they must bear that in mind. We know that the Minister of Finance is in the final stage of concluding his budget and any action taken has got to be done in the context of that timeframe,” the PS said.