Dec 04, 2021 News
wage public servants’ take for entire year…
Kaieteur News – Head of State, President Irfaan Ali, members of the Cabinet and other constitutional officeholders have had their retroactive salary increase effected in law by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.
This is since the formal order has been passed and gazetted by the subject Minister, in keeping with the exercise of his powers under the Constitutional Offices (Remuneration Of Holders) Act.
The publication of the order in the Official Gazette would effectively give legal effect to those constitutional officer holders.
The order stipulates, that increases be retroactive to January 2021, and to be calculated to include salaries due as at December 31, 2021. That order was signed by Dr. Singh on November 29 last shortly after he publically announced the across-the-board seven percent increase in wages and salaries for public servants and constitutional officeholders.
The order, as such, brings into legal effect the salary increases for those officeholders, whose remuneration is governed under that law.
As such, Head of State President Ali, is guaranteed to collect some$1.8M more on his Christmas salary, as based on his $150,000 monthly increase.
This is versus the $4,900 monthly increase for minimum wage workers in the public system, amounting to a $58,000 increase in their Christmas pay, which accounts for their retroactive adjustments.
Other officeholders now guaranteed their retroactive payments, include the Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, among others.
Dr. Singh on November 11 last had announced that public servants would be benefiting—in their December salary—from a seven percent increase, retroactive to January.
There was no pay increase the previous year.
“I am pleased to announce now that your Government will be paying an across-the-board increase of seven percent to public servants, teachers, members of the disciplined services, constitutional officeholders, as well as government pensioners. This increase will be granted retroactively to 1 January 2021, and work will start immediately to ensure that it is processed and paid to eligible employees together with their December salary, and in time for the festive Christmas season,” the Minister explained.
A government minister, earning $869,000, will now receive an increase of $60,830 to this or her monthly salary, with the signing of the Order by Dr. Ashni Singh.
As such, it would mean that the monthly increase on the salaries paid to a government minister is more than the increased provided for an entire year for the minimum wage worker.
Leading up to his announcement, the Minister reminded Guyanese of all the money spent this year to “directly improve” disposable household income.
Incidentally, during his presentation, Dr. Singh said that the Government has recognised “the existence of a number of anomalies and disparities across positions within public service salary scales, as a result of which there are marked inconsistencies across the pay received by persons holding similar qualifications, but occupying different posts, depending on the agency in which they work, the post to which they are appointed, and the salary scale in which their post is classified”.
The announcement, however, has since been met with intense public backlash as meager, with many pointing to the fact that the 7 percent increase will be taxed, meaning that there isn’t really a 7 percent increase in disposable income being provided to public servants.
President Ali had attempted to deflect criticism against his administration and called the lamentations by some trade union as politicized statements while blaming his predecessors for the state of the economy and an inability to pay a higher increase.
He had a different position days before the Finance Minister made the announcement, telling the nation in a public broadcast to brace for an increase in the cost of living, as a result of the global supply chain crisis.
The President said, “What are we doing today is presenting you with the facts, with reality, with what the government is doing to address issues that are global in nature, how we are defining policies to address these issues, the impact global challenges is having on our economy, and the way in which the government is addressing those challenges.”
To this end, he added that he believes that it is very important for all Guyanese to understand that “We do not live in an isolated environment and we are part of the global community.” The President said that Guyanese are part of the process of globalisation and what occurs globally; while highlighting that the country is also affected by global challenges.
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