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By Sharmain CornetteThe hierarchy of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) is gearing to present the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) with an ultimatum which will influence the way the city entity responds to recent statements made by Central Government about overstaffing.This decision was forthcoming following an intense meeting between representatives of the union and city officials, which was intended to ascertain the union’s position on the sensitive subject.  The forum which was chaired by City Mayor Hamilton Green,Cheap NFL Jerseys, kicked off in calm and amicable fashion, but degenerated to a verbal battle between Councillor Hector Stoute and GLU Field Officer, Clarence Whitehead – a development which saw the GLU contingent opting to depart unceremoniously.The vocal clash was prompted by Stoute’s accusation that the GLU team either was not properly briefed before venturing into the meeting, or hadn’t an inkling of knowledge of the matter at hand given their “questions of a million words for clarity on a matter that is well known.”At the onset of yesterday’s deliberation Mayor Green revealed that a similar meeting was held between municipal officials and representatives of the Guyana Local Government Officers’ Union (GLGOU) last week. That forum,Cheap NFL Jerseys, he said,NFL Jerseys China, revealed that the representatives of that union were not prepared to subscribe to the position of Central Government that the municipality was overstaffed.It was for this reason, Mayor Green said, that a decision was made to engage GLU representatives similarly.“We had suggested a meeting be held at 10:00 hours, tentatively, but it seems there was some lack of communication….because I spoke with Mr Carvil Duncan (General Secretary of the GLU) in the presence of the Town Clerk from this very room…after some discussions he said he would really like to be at the meeting but that he was leaving the country tomorrow morning (today). So I asked him to meet at 13:00 hours today (yesterday) he agreed to that…” However, Duncan was a no-show at the meeting which commenced just before 14:00 hours. According to reports, Duncan was engaged in “other pressing matters”.Given the General Secretary’s absence, Whitehead had suggested that the meeting be adjourned, a proposal which was disregarded by the City Mayor. According to Green, yesterday’s meeting was necessary “since I don’t want the long hiatus between meeting with the one union and the other. We need to seek the advice of the GLU in terms of the current situation as well. This matter has been pronounced upon by both the President and the Minister of Local Government. They have made it clear that they are unprepared to assist the municipality unless we cut our wage bill.”Mayor Green recounted that at a press briefing hosted by the minister,NHL Jerseys From China, a major issue was made of his (the Minister’s) belief that the City Council was overstaffed. The minister, as a result, predicated, pronounced on and determined that the state of affairs was a major inhibitory factor in the progress of the municipality.“I am of the view that it is no use fighting forever, though I don’t give up easily…What I wanted to discuss with the GLU was the fact that if it is that they are likely to get the cooperation and assistance from Government then for me we are left with no alternative but to do what the Minister proposed… that we cut our wage bill.”According to the Mayor, he was further forced to engage the unions after speaking with the Private Sector Commission recently. He noted that while that body has indicated its intent and has started to help the municipality, some of its members had drawn to his attention and made the same point that the municipality must reduce its wage bill.Green noted that it was the view of the members that the municipal wage bill was excessively high.“To repeat myself I am prepared to keep the struggle up but I must assume that the Government knows best; that they have information that I don’t have which differs from that presented by departmental heads and the other union…”The Mayor noted that it was his expectation that yesterday’s deliberations would have unveiled the honest take of the GLU in order to help the municipality plot its way forward as it relates to the overstaffing issue. Mr Duncan’s take on the matter could have proven to be very instrumental, he added.Councillor Eon Andrews also voiced his concerns atthe meeting, noting that it is no secret that “the GLU has a good relationship with the Government”. For this reason, Andrews highlighted that the union should have sought to engage its good relation to educate theMinister about his misrepresentation of the state of the municipality, adding that it is a well known fact that,NFL Jerseys China, “the municipality is not overstaffed but rather is underfinanced.”And given the evident inaction on the part of the union,China Jerseys, Andrews warned that its membership should be very concerned.Emphasising his disgust about the overstaffing notion, Councillor Gladstone George queried whether the Government’s move to withhold its assistance to the municipality is an indication that anarchy has begun to surface.“Are we in a state of anarchy…labour has its rights. The Minister has no jurisdiction in this matter of labour, regardless of who the Minister is…”According to Councillor George, for anyone to advocate overstaffing and the cutting of the wage bill, the categories of long and short term staffers must be carefully considered. In addition, he noted that there must be clarity on why there is such an urgent need for the municipality to cut staff.GLU Field Officer Clarence Whitehead then stressed that before any further deliberations could be engaged, efforts must first be made on the part of the municipality to highlight the areas in which overstaffing exists. However, it was ascertained by the Mayor and councillors in attendance that there was no evidence of overstaffing within the municipality. In fact, it was the view of Councillor Stoute that the union seems to be attempting to shirk its responsibility of representing workers leaving this crucial task up to the municipality instead.Following a brief, fiery verbal exchange with Stoute, Whitehead accompanied by his two GLU associates left the municipal chambers in which the meeting was being held, leaving the municipal officials to continue the deliberations on their own.In the end, Mayor Green instructed that a letter be sent to the union requesting an urgent response on the matter before efforts are made to engage the cutting of staff which according to the Mayor, could very well start with the GLU-represented workers.
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