GPSU perturbed over public servants’woes
Government says that it is not prepared to work with anyone unless it is “constructive engagement”.
Government would be receptive to any initiative that is in the context of national development. This was the idea proposed, yesterday, by Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, at the opening ceremony of the 18th Biennial Delegates’ Conference of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU). The venue was the Pegasus Hotel.
The Cabinet Secretary urged the union to consider ways on how to further the development of Guyana during their conference.
The message of Dr Luncheon came minutes after GPSU President, Patrick Yarde, voiced the union’s concerned over the “unfair manner” in which members of staff of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) was treated. “This is paralleled in the treatment meted out to the other categories of public sector workers.”
In an apparent allusion to the polygraphing of several GRA staffers, Yarde noted that serious allegations of irregularities were made against the workers, even in the face of their performance.
“For example, in the case of the GRA, for five consecutive years (2004-2008) their performance exceeded the government’s revenue collection targets by over $30 billion, an average of approximately six billion dollars per annum. Yet no recognition for this performance has been acknowledged, articulated or recorded.” Another blatant case is the non-appointment or non-confirmation of Chief Education Officer, Jennifer Whyte-Nedd.
Stating that it was an indictment on the Public Service Commission, Yarde said that it is hard to explain the circumstances that would cause her to be on the job continuously, while the post is vacant, and be denied appointment.
According to the union official, being in existence for more than 86 years, GPSU is facing a momentous time in history.
GPSU’s commitments are under threat, Yarde said, and bemoaned the lack of adherence to respect hard won agreements.
He also stressed, “Obtaining respect for the rules of natural justice and fair and equitable treatment for workers is becoming difficult.”
“This is exemplified in the arbitrary application of polygraphing categories of workers. At the same time, it is widely recognized that other persons involved in public service and who are more likely to be associated with dishonest practices are not being similarly subjected to this process.”
He also expressed displeasure at the travelling allowances of public servants, which was last reviewed in 1995 but not adjusted since then although gas price has risen from the $200 per gallon then, to over $700 now.
The official warned that it will challenge government on all attempts to undermine the gains of the working class but is willing to work with the government and international parties in all areas for their “betterment”.