Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, yesterday announced that public servants will see the minimum wage boosted from $64,200 to $70,000.
Along with their salary boost, public servants will also receive increases ranging from three percent to nine percent. In addition, all of the increases will be retroactive to January 2019, and it will free from tax.
Workers in the public sector who work for between the minimum wage and $99,999 per month will have the benefit of a nine percent salary increase.
Those earning $100,000 to $999,999 every month will enjoy an increase of 8.5 percent, while those making over $1 million per month will get a three percent increase.
The increase represents an overall 75 percent climb since the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance For Change (AFC) Coalition Government took office in 2015, Jordan said.
The current minimum wage for public servants is $64, 200 while it stands at $44,200 for those in the private sector.
Minister Jordan, who was at the time a guest on the National Communications Networks’ (NCN) radio programme, Insight, disclosed, “In three and a half years, the minimum wage has gone up over 75 percent. I think by any stroke of circumstance, that is a significant development and I know that the workers are going to be happy.
“I know that they are going to be happier still because 2018, I first brought in tax-free back pay and I asked the Cabinet, the members agreed and I continue this year.”
In the years 2017 and 2018, no end of year bonuses were granted to public servants. But since coming into office in 2015, the Coalition Government has boasted about providing retroactive salary increases.
Jordan noted that on Tuesday, Cabinet deliberated and consulted on his proposals, after which it was accepted.
According to the Finance Minister, the Director General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, will provide more details on the salary increase for public servants during a “Post-Cabinet Media Briefing” on Thursday.
President of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), Patrick Yarde has consistently criticised the Government for imposing increases rather than renegotiating the wages and salaries.
In addition to this issue, on Friday last, the Public Service Union voiced its objection to the government’s “arbitrary imposition” of salary increases on public servants, despite the existence of a binding collective bargaining agreement.
The GSPU President called the Finance Minister’s announcement an “arbitrary” one since the High Level Committee, he adds, was never consulted on the Minister’s decision.
“This is most disturbing to us. We would wish to state that we will respond to any arbitrary increase in a most vigorous manner. We are fed up with arbitrary impositions…
Now the impression is given that the committee is scrapped, the collective agreement would be not respected. And the public servants will be exposed to another imposition. Clearly this is in conflict with what was promised with us and we resent it,” he explained
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), whose affiliates have among its membership employees in the public sector, concurs with the GPSU sentiments.
In a press statement released yesterday, the FITUG said that the Government is “assaulting” the collective bargaining agreement.
It added that the actions by the administration are not setting a “positive example” and it does not help in furthering collective bargaining.
“It is simply disheartening that the administration continues to disregard their hard- fought right to bargain,” FITUG stressed.
In addition to those increases, Station Allowances will also be increased from $2,800 to $10,000.
Hinterland allowances will be increased by between one hundred percent and six hundred percent from between $4,000 and $12,000 to $24,000.
Risk allowance will be increased by nine hundred percent from $500 to $5,000.
Additionally, clothing allowance for teachers will be increased from $13,000 and $22,135 to $15,000 and $30,000.
On call allowance for doctors is expected to see an increase also.
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