Feb 11, 2016 News
The right to union representation which employees of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) had enjoyed during the time of Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise has been reactivated.
According to the authority, it has officially recognised the Guyana Pubic Service Union (GPSU) as the labour representative for its employees, and has started negotiations for a possible collective bargaining agreement.
GRA said yesterday that earlier this year, its management notified employees that they are free to join the union if they wish to have their rights fully represented.
“Subsequently on Monday, February 8, 2016, the GPSU led by its President, Mr. Patrick Yarde, met employees at the authority’s Camp Street Headquarters for a sensitisation session.”
Yarde was accompanied by the union’s Second Vice President, Dawn Gardner, and Principal Industrial Relations Officer, Patricia Went.
Workers were told that association with the union paves the way, through advocacy and resilience, for salary increases, tax-free vacation allowance, five-day work week, sickness, death, dental and other benefits which public servants are enjoying today.
“A further reminder of the union’s influence was the announcement by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, in the 2016 National Budget presentation that public service salary increase has to await the conclusion of discussions with the relevant unions.”
Employees were also apprised of membership requirements, union dues and the myriad of benefits that accrue.
According to GRA, future plans were also announced for the resuscitation of the Industrial Relations and Personal Management course, which grants eligibility for promotion in the public service and entry to the University of Guyana.
GRA, the country’s main tax collection body, has been under pressure to reform its operations and reduce corruption.
GPSU, the biggest public service union, has been complaining bitterly about being sidelined and refused bargaining rights for workers.
For several years now, consecutive Governments have been announcing salary increases of public servants without consultations with GPSU and other unions.
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