(Address to the Nation by His Excellency, President David Granger)
A proficient Public Service is essential for Guyana’s economic prosperity, institutional stability, national security and social cohesion.
I addressed the 23rd Biennial Congress of the Guyana Public Service Union on 25th September, pointing out that a proficient Public Service was a necessity for the delivery of quality and timely services to the general public and for ensuring a better quality of life for everyone.
The Cabinet has always been concerned about public servants’ working conditions. It has been reviewing and raising the salaries and wages of public servants continuously since 2015. It will continue to pay keen attention to ensuring that emoluments keep abreast of economic changes in society so that public servants could maintain satisfactory standards of living.
I was happy that Cabinet, at its statutory meeting on Tuesday 12th November, received a report from the Minister of Finance on the regular annual review of public servants’ allowances, salaries and wages. Cabinet, as a result, authorised a team of government ministers – including Minister of the Public Service Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, Minister of Social Protection Amna Ally and Minister of State Dawn Hastings-Williams – to meet a team from the Guyana Public Service Union, comprising President Patrick Yarde and Vice-president Dawn Gardener to examine certain proposals.
I am pleased, therefore, to make the following announcements of increases, all of which will be tax-free and will be retroactive to 1st January 2019:
Public servants’ minimum wage will be increased to $70,000 from $64,220 per month. This represents a nine percent increase for 2019 and an overall increase of seventy-seven per cent since the APNU+AFC Coalition Government entered office in 2015 when the minimum wage stood at $39,540; sweeper-cleaners in the Public Education System will now receive the new minimum wage of $70,000.
Public servants earning between one hundred thousand dollars and under one million dollars will receive an 8.5 per cent increase; Public servants earning less than one hundred thousand dollars will also receive a 9 per cent increase in their salaries; and Public servants earning a minimum wage of $64,220 will receive, in their December pay cheque $69,336, a sum in excess of their base salaries.
Public servants – including teachers, nurses, doctors, members of the Defence Force, Police Force and the security services – will benefit from these permanent salary increases.
Cabinet recommended, also, significant increases in the following allowances for health sector workers: Station Allowances will be increased by over 260 per cent from $2,800 to $10,000; Hinterland allowances will be increased by between 100 per cent and 600 per cent from between $4000 and $12,000 to $24,000; Risk allowance will be increased by nine hundred percent from $500 to $5000; uniform allowance for health sector workers will be increased from $13,000 and $22,135 to $15,000 and $30,000; and On-call allowance for doctors will be increased, also.
Public Servants have received annual increases in their wages and salaries consistently since 2015. Personal allowances have increased significantly, the income-tax rate has been reduced and the tax on employee’s contribution to NIS was removed, over the last four years. Special attention was given, also, to certain categories of workers such as teachers, sweeper-cleaners and engineers, among others.
Increases in salaries and wages have made a positive impact on the performance of public servants themselves, on their households and on the national economy as a whole. Public servants provide public goods and services which benefit everyone and every sector of the economy. The APNU+AFC Coalition is committed to creating a proficient, professional, highly-motivated and well-paid Public Service. Your government is committed to good governance and to ensuring that all Guyanese can enjoy the good life.