Minister Parag rubbishes discriminatory claims by GPSU

─says gov’t committed to continued engagement

Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, on Wednesday, dismissed the spurious claims made by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) on Monday about the PPP/C Government’s response to the concerns of public servants. 

On Labour Day, the union described the government’s posture as “deliberate, blatant and discriminatory,” whilst alleging that the administration has “refused” to engage the union. 

However, during a telephone interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Parag stated that the assertion is entirely untrue.

“[The Ministry of Public Service] has constantly engaged the GPSU, with the last meeting being as recent as the 19th of December, [2022] and there has been no official request to meet since,” the minister disclosed.  

Additionally, His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Monday met with leaders of several trade unions, including the GPSU, and again pledged his government’s support to the unions for the celebration of their 100th Anniversary. 

“We are willing to meet and that was reiterated by the president. We are committed to working with everyone…and despite the fact that they went to court and all of that…we have continued to work with them,” Minister Parag asserted. 

Addressing the union’s claim that the administration is ignoring the global cost of living issues, Minister Parag said the body failed to recognise all of the initiatives implemented by the government to cushion the effects of the cost of living due to global factors.  

At the beginning of 2023, several salary adjustments were brought into effect for two categories of public servants, those in the healthcare sector and members of the joint services. 

These increases amounted to more than $2 billion in additional income, benefitting some 13,000 public service employees. This was in addition to the eight per cent salary increase given to all public servants in 2022.

The minister also reaffirmed her ministry’s stance on ensuring that suitably qualified persons are employed in the public service without any political interference.

“It is rather unfortunate and destructive that every time we are intent on building better relations and acting in good faith, the [GPSU] decides to spin a harmful and divisive narrative,” she added.

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