Government trying to fool public servants on proposed
GPSU wage/salary deadlockGovernment’s proposed salary increase to public workers is really not the 10 per cent it is selling to the public, but four per cent less.Former President and now Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said on Wednesday that Government was attempting to fool the masses with its proposal.“The actual increase is not 10 per cent; they want the 10 per cent to be stuck in people’s head – it is just over six per cent. So, it is totally unacceptable,” he told Guyana Times in an invited comment.He said what made the situation even more “egregious” was the fact it was the same people who took the huge increase for themselves of 50 to over 100 per cent using two explanations: they took the increases to avoid being corrupt and to make themselves more efficient.“Now if you’re saying that a Minister’s salary has to move from $580,000 to close to $1 million to make him less corrupt, what you are saying to the public servants who are taking home about $100,000 per month is that you can steal until you get to a million dollars a month or not be efficient, because that is the reasoning they use for the Ministers…What we find is a lot of confusion and hypocrisy on the part of this government,” Jagdeo blasted.Government and the GPSU are still at a standstill on salary increase negotiations. While Government maintains that it will not budge from its 10 per cent offer, the GPSU has been holding out and has even suggested that the two parties meet again for more talks. President David Granger has, however, said that there was nothing more that could be offered at this time.On Tuesday, political commentator, Dr David Hinds said Government’s 10 per cent salary increase offer was very much inadequate, considering the social, political and economic factors involved.“For example, 10 per cent of 60,000 is $6000; there is not much more a woman with two or three children can do with that. Public servants, like all categories of workers, deserve a living wage. The Government’s explanation that that’s all they can afford is not good enough. What Government can afford is based on what Government prioritises,” Dr Hinds told Guyana Times in an invited comment.Hinds questioned whether Government has made public servants’ wages a priority.“Of course, there are times when different categories of workers or different policy initiatives must be prioritised, but I have not heard of plausible reasons why public servant wages should not be given a look-in at this point. I say this even after taking into consideration that the Government did give the public servants a raise during its first year in office.When one takes into consideration that the majority of public servants come from the Government’s constituency, it is even more puzzling that it is not more forthcoming,” he posited.