While hinting that it may not be able to meet the demands of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employee (NAACIE) in relation to salary increases for its workers, the Guyana Power and Light Inc, (GPL) has stated that it is committed to resolving the issue but wants the Union to act reasonably.
On Tuesday, GPL workers protested outside the company’s headquarters, calling for the salary increase issue to be resolved.
In a statement, GPL said it made proposals to the Union in July last year for a three-year Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) for the years 2020, 2021 and 2022.
GPL said its proposals include a restructured performance-based incentive that will positively impact annual salary increases.
The company said all clauses in the CLA were agreed upon following which NAACIE submitted its counter proposal to GPL in 2020 and negotiations commenced.
“In March 2021, NAACIE submitted a revised proposal, which would result in a significant increase in salaries of fifteen, seventeen and nineteen percent respectively over the three-year period. Negotiations between NAACIE and GPL resumed in March 2021 and there was mutual agreement on sixty-six (66) clauses except for two (2) Clauses – Across-the-Board increases and the Performance Based Incentive. These two clauses would have the largest impact on the Company’s financial position,” GPL said in a statement.
The company noted that in December 2020, it paid all staff members a $25,000 bonus despite its financial position, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a significant and unbudgeted expenditure that was necessary to ensure the company’s continued operation.
“During the first quarter of 2021, the world market fuel prices per barrel have exceeded GPL’s 2021 budgeted prices by approximately fifty percent (50%). Should prices remain at this level, the Company will incur additional and unbudgeted expenditure of approximately six billion Guyana dollars ($6B). Despite this significant financial challenge, the company remains committed to amicably resolving the existing differences through negotiations and GPL expects that the union will embrace a responsible position on this matter,” the company statement further reads.
On the matter of the acquisition of two (2) vehicles for GPL’s Divisional Directors, GPL said two-state vehicles were acquired through a National Competitive Bidding Process.
Pointing out that Five (5) bids were received and were comprehensively evaluated in accordance with the Company’s Procurement Manual. The company said the tender was awarded to the lowest evaluated bidder.
The company sought the need to clarify its position on the purchase of the vehicles after it was made public that the bid for the two vehicles was won by the company managed by the GPL Chairman.