With the government talking about an early presentation of the 2019 national budget, the APNU+AFC government is being called into question by the Guyana Public Service Union over its failure to deliver on several promises made prior to its election to office and its first budget in 2015.
GPSU’s President Patrick Yarde told a media conference on Monday that the membership of the union believes it has been “too patient” with the government and “new strategies” are being crafted to ensure the government addresses the concerns of workers.
“We believe regrettably that the present state of the public service is due in large measure to the failure of the government to remedy deep-seated issues that have to do critically with the welfare of workers and the failure of the incumbent to keep promises made prior to its assumption to office that have to do with deep-seated issues.”
Yarde said apart from the baggage this government inherited from its predecessor, the administration has been considerably inattentive in addressing the plight of the public servants.
“Is it that we are idiots or is that that there is no one on the other side who can recognize that this thing is out of sequence and should be corrected,” Yarde questioned as he called the government out on its failure to honor its stated commitments.
Yarde said among several concerns that need to be addressed are wages, salaries and allowances for public servants and sweeper cleaners and the failure to lend continuity to the public service Commission of Inquiry.
He said public servants are made scapegoats of situations that come about because of complacency and he also drew attention to similar plight being faced by public servants “in uniform” such as soldiers and police officers.
The GPSU President said the government’s posture of not being attentive or honouring commitments made during negotiations with the union is an exercise in counter productivity and short-sightedness.
“The GPSU states that exchanges with the government since assenting to office has been a one-sided encounter in which administration appears to have been deaf to the appeals of public servants.”
The GPSU head said he believes there are elements within the coalition government that would wish to see the situation corrected and equally he believes there are insensitive elements with the coalition.
He called on the government to address the concerns of the public servants even-handedly.