Government announces increase in minimum wage and public servants’ salaries

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, October 19, 2017

Public servants can now enjoy an increase in their wages and salaries, as the Government today announced that the new minimum wage is $60, 000, which is an increase of $4,445. This announcement comes ahead of the 2018 budget presentation, which is slated for November 27, 2017 in the National Assembly.

Speaking at a post cabinet media conference, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said that a final offer was made to the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), which will reflect the following changes:

  • Eight % for persons earning between GYD$55,555 to GYD$99,999;
  • Six % for those earning GYD$100,000 to GYD$299,999;
  • Five % for those earning GYD$300,000 to GYD$499,999;
  • Four % for those earning GYD$500,000 to GYD$699,999;
  • Two % for persons making GYD$700,000 to GYD$799,000 and
  • Half percent for those earning GYD$800,000 to GYD$1 million.

These increases will be retroactive from January, 2017 and will cost the Government approximately, $3.5B. Head of the Department of Public Service and Permanent Secretary, Reginald Brotherson, who was present at the press conference said that 14, 000 public servants will benefit from these increases.

In response to questions posed by the media, Brotherson noted that negotiations with the GPSU began just about a month ago, with no proposals put forward by the Union.  The GPSU is contending that negotiations for 2016 were incomplete, claiming ambiguity in a letter received by the Head of State.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon speaking during post cabinet media conference.

“In our clarifications with His Excellency, he clearly was referring to allowances, but from the Government’s side a final offer was given in 2016, so the union has decided that they are going to write His Excellency for that level of clarification. The Government’s negotiating team was very clear that we had concluded 2016 negotiations, in so far as wages and salaries were concerned,” Brotherson explained.

Subsequent to initial negotiations which began on September 26, 2017, representatives of the Department of Public Service and the GPSU met on Monday, October 16, 2017 to advance discussions on this year’s wage increases, however, the offer put forward by the Government was rejected by the union.

Meanwhile, Minister Harmon made it clear that there is no sidelining of the proposals put forward by the Guyana Teachers Union, since the negotiations for increases in teachers’ salaries are still in progress.

 

By: Stacy Carmichael

Head of the Department of Public Service, Reginald Brotherson and Head of the Press and Publicity Unit (MoTP), Mark Archer.

 

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