Nov 23, 2022 Letters
President Ali has announced an increase of 8% on salaries retrospective to January 01, 2022 for: Public Servants, Teachers, Disciplined Services; Constitutional Office-Holders; Government Pensioners. There is also indication of further adjustments to ‘specific categories of workers’. Further improvements for Policemen and Health workers. Options are to be identified for:Ranks of the Police Force, Prison Service, Fire Service. It is also reported that a ‘similar exercise’ is being conducted for employees in Public Health – Nurses, Doctors, Interns and other health care professionals.
This announcement is nothing to be excited about. It is merely another ‘grant’ for Christmas. This unilateral gesture is once again a profound subversion of equality which is otherwise touted – in a glaring insult to the Guyana Public Service Union and the Guyana Teachers Union. It is not as if this gesture of imperialism is not being observed by our Caricom counterparts and other informed agencies, including our own private sector in relation to which there is a Ministry of Labour required to insist on negotiations between Employer and Employee. This non-negotiable constipated increase, once more, dishonours our constitutional rights.
However, it could be argued that it is not the President’s fault; rather more the constipated mindset of his so-called professional advisors – indeed a situation that all previous political Administrations of the last three decades have suffered.In the milieu however, it does not appear that the advisers referred to the Budget of 2022 to be reminded that all jobs listed therein are of public service; so it is difficult to understand the differentiation identified in awards to the Police, prison ranks, and public health workers,for example. This is not to say that they may not deserve special attention; but to reinforce the official fact that they fall within the constitution of ‘Public Servants’.
Meanwhile, the advisers could hardly be proud of the treatment meted out to possibly the most productive component of the public service – our education system managed and delivered by Teachers. Why is this insistence in ignoring the fact that the related job and compensation structures were conceived and implemented since the colonial era, and have become probably the most demotivating system of remuneration in Guyana, Caricom and elsewhere. It keeps crying out for the most comprehensive consultancy review in our history.
Space does not allow opportunity to present details of even the internal inconsistencies which have been made available several times publicly by this writer.
But there is the more psychological stress factor which needs to be brought to attention once again to all Administrations, which continue to be pompously ignored, which is that no one anywhere had benefitted over the last three decades from what is now the mythical structure of ‘salary scales’. The latter once again not utilized, so that indifferent management results in the chronic situation known as ‘bunching’, which is a most demotivating situation wherein those recruited in 2022 at whatever level, will enjoy exactly the same basic salary as his/her counterpart with several years of service. It is not as if the Harold Lutchman Commission of Inquiry into the Public Service of 2016 did not address this fundamental compensation defect most comprehensively, but it continues to be ignored to the nationwide stress of permanent pensionable Public Servants.
But it is not say that the aforementioned situation has not been ignominiously compounded by the introduction of the category of ‘Contracted Employees’ recruited at any salary at all levels, much to the chagrin of a non-functioning Public Service Commission.
So that in the final analysis all that we have for Christmas 2022 is the gift of the most constipated cake to be ingested anywhere…It would be interesting to observe how it would taste to the Public Service Union, Guyana Teachers’ Union, Teaching Service Commission, Guyana Nurses’ Association; and The Public Service Commission (when appointed), Private Sector Commission, which are all members of ONE NATION required to share the small slices for an indefinite future.
Human Resources Management
and Organisation Development Consultant
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