Broad-based committee agreed on to discuss police matters

Stabroek News
March 11, 2000

Agreement was reached in several key areas when representatives of the government and the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) met on Wednesday to discuss a wide range of issues at the Ocean View International Hotel.

In a joint statement issued yesterday it was revealed that a decision was taken to create a broad-based committee, inclusive of a representative of the Guyana Police Force to begin discussion on the increase in alleged extra-judicial killings. The statement was signed by Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon, and General Secretary of the GTUC, Lincoln Lewis.

The two parties also addressed the issue of maintenance of the rule of law, including the conduct of the police force. They spoke of the need for improvements in the police force, including emoluments and training, its modernisation and its relations with the public.

The application of the Coroner's Act as it relates to unnatural deaths was also discussed.

Government has nominated Chief Labour Officer, Mohamed Akeel, to engage in discussions with a GTUC representative on the details of the GTUC's proposals for the amendment to the Termination of Employment and the Severance Pay law.

A committee is to be established to discuss a recommendation by the GTUC for the workers in the semi-autonomous government agencies to be paid a minimum wage as set out in the Armstrong Arbitration Award.

It was agreed that labour representation on state boards is a generally accepted principle which had been traditionally observed.

Government is to submit a list of names of boards to the GTUC and commence dialogue to ensure adequate representation of labour.

Agreement was reached for a social contract to be proceeded with under the general framework of a tri-partite activity involving the social partners. It was also decided that a tri-partite team will be appointed with the requisite terms of reference and be mandated to begin work forthwith.

According to the statement, the government team had no objection to the concept document presented by the GTUC for land allocation to workers for a trade union settlement scheme. Full agreement on this issue is subject to the submission of project proposals by the GTUC.

Labour Minister Dr Henry Jeffrey is to submit his views on the GTUC's position on the chairman of the Trades Union Recognition Board.

It was also proposed by the GTUC and accepted by the government that this year's May Day parade should involve civil society and the political parties to forge unity.

The government and the GTUC had agreed recently to meet on a monthly basis to discuss matters on mutual interest, according to an agreed agenda.