President of the Guyana Public Service Union, Patrick Yarde, has upped calls for President Donald Ramotar to appoint
the long-overdue Public Service Appellate Tribunal (PSAT).
According to the union in a statement, a letter was sent to the Head of State earlier this month.
“The PSAT has been nonfunctional, since the resignation in 2004 of the Government’s nominee on the tribunal, the late Mr. George Fung-On. The Union previously wrote to the President on this subject on 12th September, 2013.
“On this occasion, apart from receiving an acknowledgement from the Office of the President, there has been no positive or conclusive response.”
GPSU insisted that the absence of the PSAT has left a significant void causing public officers to be denied the right to have grievances with decisions of the Public Service Commission redressed. The other option was through the High Courts.
“This in essence, is also a breach of the provisions of the Constitution of Guyana, which are intended for their protection.”
GPSU said that it was at its insistence that the PSAT was established in 1984. “Further, it is concerned that public workers, who fall under the jurisdiction of the tribunal, the union and the Guyanese citizenry as a whole have been disrespectfully treated, in that they were not extended the courtesy of an explanation for the failure to establish and/or reactivate this crucial constitutional tribunal for in excess of ten 10 years.”
The union said it has been raising the concerns time and again with the administration. “The union’s doubts, regarding the claims by the Government to working class credentials, have repeatedly been conveyed to this Administration, given the spate of evidence to support its unconcerned and non-responsive attitude to the rights and need of workers.”
GPSU also said that it is of the firm view that there is an orchestrated plan within Government to obstruct the appointment of the PSAT so that they could freely and uninterruptedly proceed with the politicizing of the public service and trample the rights of workers.
“Such conduct is in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution of Guyana and compromises the efficiency and effectiveness of public servants, who exist to provide quality public service in the public’s interest.”
The union urged President Ramotar, “who was sworn to uphold the Constitution”, to initiate urgent measures to correct the unsatisfactory state of affairs.
“If this is done, Public Servants would be assured of some measure of justice and security of tenure. Such an action would also be a move in the right direction for a Government that currently has as its hallmark a consistent record of trampling the rule of law and to some extent, the principles of democracy in Guyana.”
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