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GPSU to issue ultimatum to govt for higher pay

Invitees and delegates at the opening of the GPSU’s 20th Biennial Delegates Conference

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is threatening to call industrial action if negotiations for higher wages and salaries are not held and concluded within six weeks, according to well-placed sources.

The decision was taken at the union’s 20th Biennial Delegates Conference that was held from September 25 to 27.

Efforts to contact GPSU President, Patrick Yarde were unsuccessful.

Sources said the delegates mandated the GPSU’s executive to give the government notice to come to the bargaining table within two weeks and conclude the negotiations in one month. According to the sources, if the talks break down the GPSU would begin industrial action.

Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) was told that the GPSU would start off by demanding 25 percent because the union has been advised that the 2013 National Budget already caters for an 15 percent wage and salary hike.

Government has repeatedly warned that steep wage and salary hikes can lead to inflation, devaluation and escalation in the prices of goods and services.

The union also wants an increase in several allowances which have stagnated for at least 10 years now. They include leave passage, hinterland, medical, travelling and uniform allowances.

The GPSU has already accused government of ignoring several formal and informal requests for multi-year wage and salary talks to begin.

The practice has been for government to give a low single-digit retroactive wage and salary hike towards the end of each year without holding negotiations.