GPSU knocks Doerga over wage hike comments
GPSU President, Patrick Yarde
GPSU President, Patrick Yarde

THE Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has come under fire over statements made by its President Vishnu Doerga that public servants should be appreciative of the wage/salary increases being offered by the government. In a statement, the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) said GCCI is now following in the footsteps of the Finance Minister Winston Jordan and Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin in making public statements to the effect that “Public Servants should set aside their efforts, through their union to secure wages and salaries increases above the insubstantial offer made by the Government of Guyana.”
The union is accusing GCCI of seeking to influence against its efforts to lift Public Servants out of poverty. “Mr Doerga is not the first private sector official to make utterances that reflect an absence of value for the role of Public Servants, despite the fact that the business support organisation (BSO) that he heads depends on the services of various public sector organisations in their quest to maximise their profits, which is their primary interest,” the union stated.
The GPSU said that Doerga appears not to recognise the nexus between the higher level of efficiency in the Public Service and a more incentivised Public Service. “Or is it that Mr Doerga and those other entrepreneurs with a similar mindset would wish that Public Servants be cast permanently in the mould of hewers of wood and drawers of water?”
It said that the GCCI President, like Minister Jordan and Minister Gaskin, has failed to give consideration to the issue of a living wage “not a level of earnings that support the kind of lavish life-style enjoyed by many members of the business class, but earnings that afford a decent living, which, properly defined, can be taken to mean enough to afford themselves and their families a reasonable and comfortable level of existence.”
It added: “Is Mr Doerga aware that there are Public Servants who, by virtue of being prisoners of meagre wages and salaries, continued to be victims of a mundane and miserable existence?”
It said too that GCCI must also speak on the more than $40B duty- free concessions and remission of taxes which are offered the private sector.
“This, incidentally, is more than what is required to pay government employees in and out of uniform i.e. army, police, teachers, public servants wages and salaries, etc. There is, as well, the issue of private sector operatives who do not pay their correct taxes as was mentioned by the Finance Minister Mr Jordan in a press statement on September 25, 2016,” the union pointed out. It is therefore recommending that GCCI better incentivised Public Service in the interest of the public sector, the private sector and the country as a whole.

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