Salary increases for public servants likely in first half – Granger

Last Updated on Saturday, 6 February 2016, 9:01 by Denis Chabrol

The absence report of the Commission of Inquiry into the public service is all that is holding back the APNU+AFC administration from engaging public service unions in a collective wage bargaining manner.

This is according to President David Granger who was at the time responding to concerns raised about the absence of a salary increase for members of the disciplined services since they are not unionized and would not have to await a collective bargaining agreement.

President Granger explained that as soon as the report is submitted by the Chairman of that Commission Professor Harold Lutchman, steps will be made to engage the Unions.

“The defence force, police force and the other disciplined services are not necessarily part of the traditional public service but there is some equivalence,” Granger said. He assured that “once we get the report we will draw some equivalence to the police, defence forces with positions in the public service so they are related.”

Asked when that report would be submitted, President Granger indicated that he would like to see it in the first quarter of 2016. However that is unlikely since this quarter only has just over a month remaining.

“I would expect the report should be ready within the first half of this year…once its is handed in we will work expeditiously to call in the unions particularly the GPSU (Guyana Public Service Union) conclude negotiations and on the basis of that implement the changes that are necessary,” he stated.

The President who was at the time speaking on Public Interest indicated that the administration has made plans for increases in the salaries across the public sectors.

“We don’t want to have any disproportionate allocations to one as opposed to the other…once we get that report we will be able to begin negotiations with the public service,” he emphasized.

Finance Minister, Winston Jordan has said the coalition government could not keep its pre-election promise to pay a 20 percent salary increase to members of the Guyana Police Force because the administration had to find millions of dollars to bail out the sugar and rice industries.