Not only was the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) able to pay salaries on time last month but according to General Secretary of the Guyana Labour Union (GLU), Mr Carvil Duncan, the entity was able to pay some of its employees bonuses.
He said that he is aware that some bonus packages amounted to as much as $110,000.
This development, Duncan said, is a clear indication that the municipality is not cash-strapped and therefore should be able to pay much needed increased remuneration package to its employees.
He said that the municipality is able to expend some $90,000 on a daily basis to electrify the buildings within the City Hall compound with the use of a generator.
The union, Duncan recounted, had requested that workers be paid an increase for last year, an appeal which had prompted a call for conciliation. During the process of conciliation the General Secretary revealed that officials of the municipality had claimed that the entity was cash-strapped and therefore could not pay an increase to workers.
In light of the municipality spending ability, the General Secretary said that he intends to write to the administration of the municipality for an explanation.
“Tomorrow (today) I am sending them a letter for an explanation.
They don’t have money to increase workers’ wages and salaries but they have money to do all these other things. I don’t think they have workers’ welfare at heart,” Duncan speculated.
He revealed that in a matter of days the municipality will be in receipt of a letter from the union informing of the need for an increased remuneration package for municipal workers for this year.
According to Duncan, he was up to yesterday, in the process of inking a letter to the administration of the municipality informing of the need for an increase. He related, too, that “if nothing feasible comes out from City Hall we will certainly be going to arbitration.”
But according to the municipal Public Relations Officer, Royston King, the entity is currently unable to pay any increase to its employees as there are just no funds to do so.
King asserted though that following a decision made at the level of council, workers of the Treasury Department, who had worked beyond the call of duties, were afforded a small pay package for their efforts.
However, King noted that he has not been in receipt of a report as to the total amount that was paid out. “As far as I am aware no further bonus payments were made to any other level of staff and I am of the understanding that it was minimal,” the PRO noted.
He said that currently the municipality has received requests from both the GLU and the Guyana Local Government Officers’ Union for increased remuneration packages for last year, a request the municipality is currently unable to honour.
King however did express optimism that the municipality’s financial state will improve this year.
It was during November last year that the municipality had met with representatives of the GLU with a view of having the request for an increase be resolved at the level of council.
Acting Town Clerk, Mr Yonette Pluck-Cort, at a statutory forum had reported that the municipality had met with the GLU in relation to the signing of the collective labour agreement and the request for the increase in wages and salaries for the year 2009.
The issues of concern had in fact engaged the attention of council earlier in the year and it was agreed that the council was in no position to offer any increase for last year. It was also then proposed by council that the matter of wage increase be addressed this year taking into consideration that increases had not been granted in 2009.
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