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Employment of contract workers to be reviewed

Acting Head of the Presidential Secretariat Joseph Harmon.

by Zena Henry

The new government will be reviewing the use and number of contract workers within the system as this had been a major concern for them while in opposition.

The A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition’s presidential candidate retired Brigadier, David Granger was sworn in President of Guyana, Saturday May 16 and his team has 100 days to deliver on promises of a major shakeup within the system.

Of those matters to be addressed is that of contract workers who were widely seen as a wedge between the former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration and public servants. Those contract workers are usually not unionized and would earn higher salaries than the ordinary public servant.

They were also usually handpicked by the former Administration and were seen as the method of sidelining public workers.

Acting Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Joseph Harmon told reporters following the inauguration ceremony that the matter of contract workers will come under the microscope since it was a matter of concern to state employees.

 “We will review these things, we are talking now about not only contract jobs; we are talking about contract employees who have basically replaced public servants. We will review these as a matter of policy. We said we were going to review them and it is just a matter of time before we do so,” he said.

Harmon said the Coalition has set itself on an agenda of 100 days, where they are looking to accomplish certain changes within the system and the Coalition does not have much time to do so.

“A day has already passed. This is day one; we have 99 days left to deliver on these promises.” He said the new government has no time for dilly dally and relaxing and would like to get the country moving.

Pointing to the thousands that came to see the swearing in of the new president, Harmon said that they are expecting the new government to deliver, “the levels of expectation are very high and so I want to caution all of our persons who will be ministers and vice presidents etc.. to understand that there is a very high level of expectation and they will have to deliver.”

 He said, we have public officers that there are currently public servants in positions and they will continue to work and give good service to the people.

The state of the country and delivery of service has been in for negative review but, Harmon reiterated the President’s sentiments that, “We are not about witch hunting…once persons do their works well, by the time the ministers are sworn in, then the ministers will be interviewing people.”

He said to the state workers who would have excelled to certain positions under the former Administration that that, “We want all government agencies and entities, the head of those organizations to understand that their duty is to the people of Guyana and whatever they do, they have to keep that in mind.”

He said these persons are servants of the people and not the other way around. In the meantime, Harmon will head a transitioning team that will allow for the crossover of the new Administration from that of the old. It is basically to track all government assets and ensure that the former holders will return them into state custody.