Unions await consideration of new proposals

first_imgThe planned protests by the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and the University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) which was expected to begin last Friday, has been put on hold, as the two bodies are awaiting word on some new proposals they have put forward.Guyana Times understands that the UG has agreed to give consideration to some of the proposals put forward by the unions which also expressed dissatisfaction with the course the administration has taken.Last Thursday, academic and non-academic staff had threatened to begin a series of industrial actions, if the administration did not concede to their demands.They said that if the new administration did not adhere to their calls for increases in salaries, the situation could become harsh.They had also demanded that the planned 10 per cent increase for senior officials of the institution be abandoned.The two unions said faculty and staff at the university will be launching a protest calling for increased salaries and benefits as talks between the unions and the administration had hit a roadblock.The two unions are demanding, among other things, that academic and nonacademic staff receive 23 per cent and 25 per cent increases in their salaries respectively, retroactive to January 2016 along with all benefits submitted to the university’s administration on April 20, 2016. This they required to be paid in their May 2016 salaries.The unions said the administration has not been keeping the promises it made on April 18, 2016, to stop the across-the-board increases for the statutory officers. Among the key demands is for the Council to rescind its decision to pay statutory officers – two deputy vice chancellors, the registrar and the bursar – a 10 per cent increase in salaries retroactive to January 2015, until it can offer adequate justification for such actions.They said it is the very administration which claimed it had no monies to pay benefits including 10 bursaries for their children who performed with distinction at national exams, yet the administration found over $8 million to increase the salaries of statutory officers who had just joined the university, a mere eight months ago and all others within the last two years: “Some of whose take home pay amounts to approximately one million dollars per month.”If the University of Guyana’s administration and Council go ahead and pay the 10 per cent increase to the statutory officers, the unions say they will “reassert their previous demand of a 60 per cent increase in salaries retroactive to January 2016 and all submitted demands contained in our Memorandum of Demands dated February 16, 2015.”last_img

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