City Council Officers protest arbitrary four per cent deduction from salaries
Several employees of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) took
to the streets yesterday with plaque cards in their hands protesting against the uninformed four per cent deduction from their April salaries.
More than 300 Local Government Officers received last month’s salaries with the four per cent deductions and are not in agreement with the manner in which this was done.
At the Regent Street entrance to City Hall yesterday many of these affected workers used their lunch period to protest against the Council’s decision to do so.
They are calling on the M&CC to display accountability and to publicly declare where the deducted monies are being kept presently.
According to one employee, the officers are not disagreeing with having the money deducted from their salaries since this is a lawful act.
However, the workers do not believe that adequate measures have been put in place for the effective management and accountability of the policies and officers’ deposit funds.
“They have talked about the four percent as an officer’s deduction deposit that goes towards savings and this has been done arbitrarily. They did not give the union and the employees a clear understanding as to where this money is going. We weren’t clear on whether the money was coming from our gross salary, net salary or otherwise but they have gone ahead and deducted the four per cent,” said one of the officers.
Another man added, that the workers have engaged their Union into this matter since they are of the opinion that the M&CC would function better in this aspect with the union’s guidance and input.
“Right now we have our Union pursuing this matter and we are showing objection to this type of behaviour since the City Council ought to show respect to the Union and its workers also.
“You don’t just deduct people’s money and do not say to them where this money will be going. We had previous experience with other past officers that went through similar exercises with deposit of monies and to date they have not recovered those monies.”
A highly upset female employee told Kaieteur News that she is very disappointed with the actions of the M&CC.
“Until now the Council can’t say where people’s monies are held which is why all of us are objecting today in the strongest possible way. The council has to communicate with employees and they have a responsibility to communicate effectively with the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU),” she pointed out.
Another woman explained that she was employed at City Council before 1983 and was victim to the same procedure at that time. It was some time in 1999 that she discovered she was getting bank statements from a bank account notifying her that the account was dormant. This account was never opened by her, however; it stated that it was “in care of City Council.”
“When I approached the former town clerk, the personnel and the former treasurer had me going around in circles but nobody could have told me where my money is and that is roughly $2.5M for those years.
“To date I received nothing, I received no accountability and I don’t know what happened to my money. They went ahead now to take out another four per cent and I think it is very much wrong. I want to know where my money is.”
Dale Beresford, President of the Guyana Local Government Officers Union, stated that about two months ago, the administration sent a correspondence about the officers’ deposit or insurance and this is in conformity with section 81 to 89 of the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28.01.
The issue is that the administration has yet to show that it is capable of managing the said programme.
“The officers’ deposit is four per cent, the answers we have asked for and have given 14 days to do so. Is the money coming from our gross, basic or net? We have not been able to get this and we want to know at what time the money will be remitted. They have also been unable to answer.”
This amounts to $1.6M and will be an average of $20M for the year.
Kaieteur News understands that the union has also requested that the NIS be used as an option for the officers’ deposit or the insurance and these are some of the issues we have ventilated.
“We have six persons who complied in 1983 and these persons only received letters from the bank recently stating that their accounts are dormant and that is after city council has deducted from them every month.”
He further stated that the bank also notified the staff that the insurance premium had elapsed due to the council not paying the premium in a timely fashion.
The Union has said that Town Clerk Yonette Pluck-Cort has promised to notify them of the situation by the end of tomorrow.