In a surprise address to the nation on Thursday night, President Irfaan Ali announced an 8% salary increase for public servants for this year. He said the increase will be retroactive to January and public servants will see the increase and its retroactive payment in their December salaries.
It was also announced by the President that additional measures will soon be announced for various categories of public servants. He did not provide any detail on what those additional measures could be.
The announcement by the President came amidst calls from the Guyana Public Service Union for the two sides to meet on salary and other increases for the nation’s public servants. There has been no such meeting and the increase announced by the President came from Government’s unilateral decision.
On social media, there was swift condemnation by public servants and others over the announced 8% increase, with many persons pointing out that the increase will have no real impact for the ordinary public servant because of the rising cost of living and the continuing increase in the inflation rate.
Opposition Member of Parliament, Juretha Fernandes said the announced increase could best be described as an “eye pass” for public servants. She noted that Guyana is now an oil economy and is in a better position to offer public servants a much better salary increase than in previous years.
The Guyana Public Service Union is expected to release a full statement in response to the President’s announcement later today.