GPSU celebrates 96 years

─ commended for championing rights of workers

By Anara Khan

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, June 2, 2019

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) came in for high praises for the transformational work it has done in the lives of workers as it celebrates ninety-six years in existence.

Minister of Public Service, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley during a brunch hosted in the union’s honour on Sunday at the Baridi Benab, State House said, “For almost one century, the Guyana Public Service Union has championed the rights of workers, forging new relationships, enhancing services and devising new and improved mechanisms in dispute resolutions.”

According to Minister Sarabo-Halley the GPSU has withstood “efforts to diminish its power and relinquish it to the dustbins of history.”

She noted that “the birth of trade unions in Guyana and throughout the region came as a result of a united action by the workers after recognizing that their wellbeing was not being addressed by those in authority,” as she further commended the union for ensuring that workers rights are not “trampled upon.”

The Public Service Minister expressed that while questions of importance and relevance of trade unions in a 21st century have arisen, it is her hope that workers in both the public and private sectors recognize that having a union which looks after the welfare of its members is necessary. She highlighted that while there have been a few “hiccups” it is the Coalition Governments’ perspective that unions are necessary in the advancement of the public service.

“We believe that the role of the union is pertinent and this was stated by H.E President David Granger, last year at this same forum, that we are all engaged in the same business…the proper governance and administration of Guyana so we can’t fight one another, we have to sit together and work for the improvement of our country.”

She reminded the members of the GPSU that the President’s commitment to make the investments necessary to ensure an efficient and reliable public service is built as it cannot be disassociated from the public trust and must comprise men and women of intelligence, integrity and impartiality if it is to enjoy public trust and achieve its administrative objectives.

“The administration is serious about implementing reforms to create a brand-new public service. One which is characterized by fairness, equality, responsiveness, reliability and efficiency,” the Minister of Public Service said.

This, Sarabo-Halley said, is evident as recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry geared at improving working conditions and other factors which influence the work of public servants are already being implemented by the government.

“The government believes that the implementation of these recommendations would place public servants in position to better withstand all the changes that are to come and effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of the public. The transformation of the public service is at hand,” the minister remarked.

The brunch was attended my Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings, Minister of Legal Affair and Attorney General, Basil Williams, Director- General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon and members of the Guyana Public Service Union.  Earlier in the day, a church service was held at the St. Andrew’s Kirk Presbyterian Church to commemorate the union’s 96th anniversary.

Images: Marceano Narine

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