7% increase in salaries, $400M for health workers -Dr. Ashni Singh

The Government of Guyana has granted an across-the-board increase of seven (7) percent to public servants, teachers, members of the disciplined services, constitutional office holders, as well as government pensioners. This announcement was made on Thursday afternoon by Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh.

The increase will be granted retroactively to 1 January 2021, and will be paid to eligible employees together with their December salary and in time for the festive Christmas season, the Minister said.

In addition, the Government has set aside $400M for a special 2021 payout to be made to frontline workers in the health sector who have continued to face extenuating circumstances in the daily discharge of their duties, as the country and the world continue to battle the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The details of this payout will be announced shortly, and the payout will be made to eligible employees before the end of December 2021,” Dr. Singh disclosed.

Further, the Minister pointed out that efforts will be made to reduce the disparities in salaries across the sector. He explained that the Government has recognised that there are marked inconsistencies across the pay received by persons holding similar qualifications but occupying different posts depending on the agency in which they work, the post to which they are appointed, and the salary scale in which their post is classified.

For example, he noted that 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. As such, he said “Government will be taking steps next year to reduce these inconsistencies, by making suitable adjustments to salaries in order to improve the parity and consistency with which persons with comparable qualifications are paid.” The provision will be made for this in Budget 2022.