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By Zena HenryA Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance for Change (AFC) are promising a new beginning forAFC’s General Secretary David Pattersonpublic servants and the public service sector as a whole. The recently announced union is an initiative by the two sides heading to the May 11 general polls as one, and later forming a government with a 60/40 ratio of power distribution.Among several burning issues that the partnership will have to address if elected into power is the stated restoration of trust between the public service sector and political leaders which some say has been seriously damaged by the constant impositions on the sector by the incumbent People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government. Particularly hot on the list is the “continuous imposition” of wage and salary increases on public workers which unions say has been the norm for more than a decade now.The APNU/AFC alliance has promised “a comprehensive review” of public sector workings. This includes the current taxation policy, wages and salaries increases,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, remuneration and union action among other areas of concern.General Secretary for the AFC, David Patterson,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, told Kaieteur News yesterday that the partnership is committed to reviewing the various spheres of the public sector. He noted that a discussion has already come to the fore in this regard, but nothing concrete has been established, since the issue requires a complete overview of the sector.APNU’s General Secretary, Joseph Harmon, also confirmed the Alliance’s commitment to review the public workers sector. He noted too that the matter of appraising the functioning and policies of the sector has already been discussed. However, he said, the stance on this issue is the same, since APNU has already stated dissatisfaction withAPNU’s General Secretary Joseph Harmonthe way the public sector is currently being run.Under the Alliance, Harmon noted,Wholesale Football Jerseys, work must be done to upgrade the manner in which public workers are paid, rewarded and hired, among other areas that directly deal with the well being and performance of public workers. He noted that the workers need better pay and treatment in order for them to provide professional, quality services.AFC had also registered disagreement with the handling of public workers before the coming together of the two parties. Patterson was adamant yesterday that the issue of public service rehabilitation is big on the agenda. He too charged that his party has reported its insistence that the government review the manner in which they handle the public service sector.This is so because for some 13 years, the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) said,Cheap Jerseys 2018, the government has refused to respect the Collective Bargaining Agreement which governs negotiations relating to public servants wages and salaries. They continue to impose whatever increases they desire on public workers.Annual discussions seem to bear no fruit when the GPSU and government sit to agree on suitable wage increases. The government says that GPSU continues to ask for increases that cannot be afforded. The GPSU says however that government can pay the increases requested, but refuses. The union has requested gradual wage increases reaching less than 30 percent. However, the government increases are usually single-digit figures.GPSU’s President Patrick Yarde has lamented the treatment of publicPublic servant protests have become an annual event following imposed increases.workers by the government, but seems powerless in using union power to bring government in line. Public workers have endured years of imposed retroactive wages and salary increases,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, with the union promising action that never materialized or failed to garner much needed support. At the GPSU President’s most recent press conference addressing another five percent imposition wage and salary increase last December, Yarde promised grave action after a 48-hour ultimatum to the government.He said he was prepared to go past a massive 57-day countrywide strike that had occurred in 1997. Yarde was however reluctant on taking drastic measures against the government,NFL Jerseys Cheap Authentic, claiming that citizens and workers stood to suffer immensely.Citizens lose vital services and are sometimes unsympathetic with the plight of public workers. Public workers on the other hand lose pay and are sometimes victimized for the roles they play. These negatives have been witnessed in the past, the GPSU head had related.Public workers have also endured the arbitrary imposition of other policies which the GPSU had highlighted in recent times. About a month ago, the High Court quashed a decision to dismiss a public worker attached to the Agriculture Ministry after he refused to adhere to the fingerprint recognition sign-in system. The GPSU had strongly resisted the implementation of the system, since they claimed that as the workers’ representatives, the Ministry did not engage or inform them about the use of the system. The arbitrary dismissal of workers was also an issue which was hinted at as the deficiency of the Public Service Commission, which is responsible for such employment matters.The new Alliance posited that the need to reform the sector is imperative for the benefit of public service provision, professionalism and the country’s development.
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