GPSU to wait and see on public service commission By Oscar P. Clarke
Stabroek News
December 6, 2003

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The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) is prepared to reserve judgement on the soon to be appointed Public Service Commission (PSC) despite having concerns over the selection of the nominee of the Public Service Senior Staff Association (PSSSA).

The union in a statement at a press briefing yesterday said that while it welcomed the end of the gridlock in the appointees to the PSC, it was gravely concerned over the selection of the PSSSA nominee. It said that the PSSSA seemed to be a creation of the government.

By a simple majority, parliament on Monday passed legislation agreeing to one nominee from the GPSU and another from the PSSSA despite opposition to this proposal. The PSSSA represents the permanent secretaries, heads of departments and accounting officers of agencies not under the control of ministries and such other officers as the PSSSA secretariat determines that it should represent.

The GPSU is concerned that the PSSSA has not been recognised under the Trade Union Recognition Act for the purposes of representing any worker who is appointed by the PSC. Therefore, the union argues, its members are exposed without recourse whenever action is taken against them.

The union pointed to a case where the chief accountant of the Ministry of Agriculture was dismissed under questionable circumstances. This officer is supposed to be in the category of workers covered by the PSSSA and is now effectively left without representation.

According to the release, the union expects that the newly-appointed commission will adhere to the rule of law in all its decisions and will at all times seek to ensure that justice prevails as it is from this action it will be judged.

On another matter, GPSU President Patrick Yarde complained again that the government had undermined the union's ability to perform its functions by blocking through the courts in excess of 75% of the union's income.