Foreign workers paid the same as locals – Dr Jagdeo

Allegations that the government is paying foreign workers far more than the local public sector were dismissed by the Peoples Progressive Party’s (PPP) General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who holds the vice presidency portfolio within the current administration.

During a press conference on Thursday, Dr Jagdeo clarified that the salaries for foreign workers are on par with Guyanese public workers – contrary to insinuations put forth by the APNU+AFC opposition.

The General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“Anyone who is recruited from abroad to work in the public sector … the conditions of service will be no better than what the Guyanese get,” Dr Jagdeo said as he engaged reporters at Freedom House, Georgetown.

He said these claims are merely falsehoods and are nothing but an attempt to mislead the public and create havoc among public sector employees.

“They [opposition] try to say that we’re paying them more than what our people will get and that’s patently false. It’s fake again. It’s conjecture by the opposition. They don’t even know the contract,” Dr Jagdeo said.

Currently, the PPP/C government is expanding the healthcare and other sectors, creating a need for additional skilled personnel. To address the shortage of healthcare workers, the government has decided to import nurses from Bangladesh and Cuba.

Dr Jagdeo justified this decision by pointing out that 12 state-of-the-art hospitals are currently being constructed in several regions of Guyana and there is a need for a skilled labour force to meet the demand.

“We can’t just build the hospital and leave them there without staff,” the general secretary stressed.

Dr Jagdeo also exposed the opposition’s hypocritical interest in public service, pointing out that during their administration, thousands of workers were unemployed and tax-burdened.

“This fake love for public servants and for people in the public sector…It’s crocodile tears and APNU is really good at that,” he underlined. 

Dr Jagdeo reminded that the government has always prioritised the welfare of Guyanese citizens including the public sector, highlighting that the wages and salaries of this specific group have improved under the PPP/C Administration.

“They want to generate dissatisfaction in the public service. Now if you look at the track record of the People’s Progressive Party, in government, you would see that we took public servants who were pauperized under the PNC, in the early period…you can see the evolution of wages and salaries and, and conditions of service in the public sector made the greatest progress in the years when the PPP was in office,” he posited.