Government engages in Budget consultations with Trade Unions
In keeping with Government’s consultative approach to governance, Prime Minister, Brigadier Mark Phillips, and Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni K. Singh today led a series of Budget consultations with several Trade Unions from across the country, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC). The consultations allowed for the Unions to raise and discuss issues of interest, particularly in relation to the National Budget and other matters. The Government team also comprised Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira, Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, Advisor to the Minister of Public Service, Jennifer Westford, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Labour, Ms. Delma Nedd and Ms. Mae Thomas respectively, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mandanlall Ramraj, and Chief Labour Officer, Mr. Dhaneshwar Deonarine.
The consultations saw participation from unions affiliated with both the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FITUG) and the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) as well as the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU). The specific participating Unions included the Guyana Agricultural & General Workers Union (GAWU), National Association of Agricultural, Commercial & Industrial Employees (NAACIE), Clerical & Commercial Workers Union (CCWU), and Guyana Labour Union (GLU), the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) and the General Workers Union (GWU).
In his introductory remarks to the Trade Union representatives gathered at the ACCC, Prime Minister Phillips welcomed the Unions and indicated that the Government welcomed the opportunity to receive suggestions, comments and other inputs from the Trade Unions on matters of interest and importance in order to inform Government policies in crafting Budget 2024. He also thanked the Unions for their cooperation and interest in engaging with Government on behalf of the workers they represent.
Dr. Singh, while delivering remarks reiterated Government’s commitment to sustained improvements in the lives of the working people of Guyana. He also outlined the various initiatives already implemented by Government since resuming office and emphasized Government’s commitment to continued engagements with the Unions and other stakeholders as the country navigates this period of rapid transformation. He also reiterated Government’s intention of reaching each and every citizen on the ground in a manner that brings Government to the people, and not just making decisions through representative organizations.
“We have increased job opportunities, invested heavily in the macro economy and we continue to ensure that we maintain macro-economic stability,” Dr. Singh added noting that in all of its decisions Government focuses on striking a balance between the immediate needs of today and the needs of tomorrow.
Following the engagements with Trade unions today, Minister Singh alluded to His Excellency President Irfaan Ali’s continued strong commitment to Government’s ongoing engagements with the Trade Unions and all other stakeholders.