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Public Servants to get 5% pay hike; negotiations in limbo

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon

Public Servants are to be handed at least a five percent retroactive pay-hike for this year, amid renewed bickering between government and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) over the absence of negotiations.

Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon said government would soon announce a wage and salary increase for public servants but it was unlikely to exceed the 2013 national budgetary allocation.

“The conclusions that one can draw is that there will be a salary increase. It is not likely to exceed the planned five percent that is in the budget and an announcement ought to be made soon of the formal approval,” said Luncheon.

The matter, he said, was discussed at Cabinet on Tuesday. The GPSU has already signalled that it would embark on industrial unrest for a 25 percent pay increase.

Luncheon rejected claims by the GPSU that its correspondences, including requests to open negotiations for higher salaries, have been constantly ignored. “I think that the union has presented its formula and the Public Service Ministry, on behalf of the government, has provided a response. There continues to be a yawning gap between what you want and what they want and that gap has not been closed,” he said.

1st Vice President of the GPSU, Mortimer Livan insisted that government has not responded to its several requests for talks. He said the union’s executive would meet shortly to discuss the expected five percent payout.

Already, he said the union has taken the matter to the Ministry of Labour for conciliation, but so far no there has been no word on the status of that process.