50 per cent increase in stipends for Toshaos, Councillors
President, Dr Irfaan Ali
President, Dr Irfaan Ali

IN keeping with the delivery of yet another promise by the government, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced that indigenous community leaders will see a significant increase in their stipends.

At Monday’s opening ceremony of the National Toshaos Conference, President Ali stated that Toshaos and Deputy Toshaos will get a 50 per cent increase in their stipends, moving from $30,000 to $45,000 and $20,000 to $30,000, respectively.

Indigenous Community Senior Councillors and all Regional Democratic Councillors (RDC) from the administrative regions of Guyana will receive an increase of $15,000 to $25,000; and $10,000 to $30,000, respectively.

The five-day event is being held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre under the theme, “Good Governance and Fast-Tracking Amerindian Development.”

“These are commitments we’ve made and commitments we have fulfilled,” the President commented, as he made the announcement.

Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle at the end of the opening ceremony, several Toshaos commended the increase, saying that it will greatly assist them in being able to better carry out their duties, and to help with expenses they face.

“I think it is a welcomed initiative because we as leaders we work so hard and we have a family and I know with the increase it will be better for me and for my family,” commented Gerald Johnny, Toshao for Taushida village in the Karasabai District of Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).

His sentiments were shared by Christopher Mariano, a Toshao from Arukamai village in Mabaruma Region One (Barima-Waini).

He said: “It’s a small increase of $15,000, but it will help so that you can do a little more service to the village. As a Toshao it’s a lot of work that we do in the village; you have to go around the community a lot, so we deserve the increase.”

Guyana has over 212 hinterland communities headed by respective Toshaos, who lead the Toshao councils, which are elected by the people in each respective community. As Toshaos they are responsible for looking after the needs of the community and coordinating with the government to address the needs of the communities.

Similarly, RDCs are governance bodies that look after the needs of the 10 administrative regions in Guyana. Guyana has 205 councillors on the 10 RDCs across the country.

Over the years, there has been a continued call for the stipends to be increased, as the councillors argue that the remuneration was insufficient, given that their workloads span entire regions.

Councillors of the various RDCs across Guyana have long since unanimously agreed in their call for an increase to the stipend and had lobbied the previous administration several times to sanction the increase.


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