Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister, Gail Teixeria said that the recent announcement of the seven per cent increase for public servants is another clear case of the Government stepping up to support Guyanese in these unprecedented times.
“What the Minister of Finance announced is a very deliberate decision by the Cabinet to ensure that we keep trying to push our country forward; to try to soften the impact of covid on us, but also on the economy. It is important for our people to benefit. They have had a hard three years,” she explained during an interview on MTV on Thursday evening.
Under the former administration, the Governance minister reminded that although the increase was eight per cent, it was only applicable to those public servants who worked for $100,000 to $1 million. This time around, she said that the PPP/C Government has decided to ensure that the increase is across-the-board for all public sector workers and that it is retroactive to January 1, 2021.
“I think that this will give some people relief and we recognise that there is more coming. We are doing these incrementally, as we watch the economy, as we watch our revenue generation, and we watch the impact of COVID on our people,” she added.
The Minister also spoke of the $400 million which is set aside by the Government for a special 2021 payout to be made to frontline workers in the health sector – especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That is an important issue,” Minister Teixeira said. She also said, “To recognise what they have been going through. It has been a long time from March 11, 2020, to now, and so we have to recognise what a toll this has taken on many of the health staff, particularly the frontline workers.”
The Government is also moving to resolve the disparities in the public service salary scale. This comes on the heels of the Government identifying persons possessing the same job title, skills, and knowledge, but who are not being compensated on the same scale.
For example, a new graduate with a degree in environmental science might be earning $120,000 in one agency while a new graduate with an identical degree in environmental science might be earning $190,000 in another agency. The minister offered her unwavering support for this initiative.
“With all of these transformational projects, you also need a well-oiled public sector and highly-qualified professionals. In 2022, we are looking at balancing out some of these anomalies and discrepancies,” the Governance Minister said.
On Thursday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance Dr. Ashni Singh pointed out that come 2022, the PPP/C Administration will be taking steps to address these salary scale anomalies.