The Guyana Public Service Union has officially rejected government’s 1% to 10% salary and wages final offer to public servants and the union is now moving to begin the grievance procedure through the Labour Department.
The GPSU held its General Council meeting on Friday and after the meeting declared total rejection to the government’s offer.
When the union started negotiations with the David Granger administration, it was pushing for a 40% salary increase. But that demand was reduced to 25%. By the end of the negotiations, the government made a final offer of 10% for those workers making less than $99,000 per month and differentiated increases for those making above that figure.
Appearing on his weekly television programme, The Public Interest, President David Granger said the government’s final offer is all that it could afford at this time and the administration intends to move ahead with the increase even if the GPSU rejected the offer.
With the GPSU now officially rejecting the offer, it is unclear if the government will hold to its position. If the issue goes beyond the grievance procedure and all the way to arbitration, the government could find itself being forced to pay an even bigger increase.
Senior government officials have indicated to News Source that while the government has made a final offer, there might still be some room for further negotiations and an agreed position to ensure that the issue is not allowed to prolong for months.
Under the previous government, there would be no negotiations with the union and an annual 5% was imposed annually. While in Opposition, the APNU and AFC had both criticised and rejected that move and repeatedly called for public servants to be offered a livable wage.