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UG’s hike in some salaries, allowances raises concerns

The University of Guyana’s decision to pay increased salaries to several top office holders and uniform allowances to only female employees of the institution have raised eyebrows in certain quarters.

The Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC) agreed with a recommendation by UG’s administration to pay a 23 percent increase to nine employees over whom there was a dispute that they were already being paid a “market rate.”

UG also announced that academic staff, who were getting less than GYD$17,000 in travelling allowance monthly, would have that allowance increased to GYD$17,000, whole non-academic staff would get a 90 percent increase in travel allowance.

UG also said in a statement that the uniform allowance for “all female” UG employees would be increased to GYD$10,000 per year to “assist with the preparation of uniforms.”

All payments will be retroactive to January 1, 2016 and will be made during the month of July 2016.

However, sources said male UG workers were expected to raise concerns about their uniform allowances because no provision has been announced for them.

As it relates to the 23 percent increase for the nine employees, sources said that hike is worrisome because the issue is where the money would be found to pay those workers that pay hike. The University of Guyana’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith is said to be earning about GYD$2 million monthly in salary and other benefits, similar to his predecessor, Professor Jacob Opadeyi.

The sources said workers do not expect that increase to be funded from the GYD$500 million that has been provided by Central Government. Instead, the expectation was that all of UG workers would have instead benefitted from a 60 percent pay increase from that amount.

Academic and non-academic staff have since May, 2016 received a 23 percent and 25 percent salary hike respectively.

for UA category workers to $17,000 per month for all those workers who have been receiving less than $17,000 per month;Traveling allowance increase by 90 percent for UB category employees;Increase of uniform allowance to $10,000 per year for all female UG employees to assist with the preparation of uniforms.

UG said “The Vice-Chancellor indicated his strong support for improving the salaries and benefits of academic and non-academic employees at the university but he also shared his expectation of respectful and efficient service to the students and the other constituencies of the university.”