GPSU softens stance on ‘deadlocked’ wages talks

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first_img… now calls for non-legally binding mediationThe Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has called the wages talks with Government “deadlocked”, rejecting the ‘final offer’ of one to 10 per cent; however, the Union has since softened its stance and has now invited Government to conciliation.Conciliation is considered a type of mediation which unlike arbitration – an option also open to the Union – does not have any legally binding force.GPSU President Patrick YardeThe public servants bargaining body on Friday held a meeting with its Executive Council at which a unanimous decision was taken to “communicate to the Chief Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Officer of the Social Protection Ministry, Department of Labour, the Union’s wish to enter into conciliation in the matter of what is now a dispute between the Union and the employer in the matter of wages and salaries increases for public servants for 2016.”The Union in its statement announcing its decision restated its position that Government’s expressed ‘final offer’ is unreasonable and unacceptable and to state further that it considers the matter deadlocked since the September 14, 2016, between teams representing the Government of Guyana negotiators and the GPSU.According to the statement released by GPSU, it was related that its Executive Council has expressed its “serious concern over the seeming insensitivity and absence of a sense of urgency on the part of the employer in dealing with the various other outstanding associated with public servants’ emoluments including de-bunching, increments and allowances.”The Union has also adopted a position that “the Government of Guyana appears to be reneging on its commitment to have separate negotiations for wages, salaries and allowance for semi-autonomous agencies.”Only recently, the GPSU in its bid to have Government return to the bargaining table in order to negotiate a better deal warned that Government be guided by history, inclusive of the 1999 strike which lasted for 57 days and which that led to arbitration over the deadlocked salary talks.GPSU at the time accused government of horse-trading over its publicly stated position that it will go ahead and make an arbitrary award in face of the Union’s refusal of the differentiated 10 per cent to one per cent salary increases for public servants.GPSU President Patrick Yarde at the time sought to remind the parties that formed the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government, that it had campaigned on a promise to pay public servants decent wages/salaries.The GPSU’s announcement that it has called for conciliation instead of arbitration had come on the heels of a pronouncement by Business Minister Dominic Gaskin who suggested that public servants in Guyana were in fact being paid more than their counterparts in many developing countries.Asked whether he believed that Government’s final offer to public servants was sufficient, Minister Gaskin responded saying, “sufficient is a difficult word.”He sought to explain saying, “Profits for business are never sufficient, you know, that is the nature of business.” According to Gaskin, “Businesses always need bigger and bigger profits and I assume that human nature is no different, we want bigger and bigger salaries every year if we can’t get it.”As such, Minister Gaskin posited that no wage increase would ever be sufficient, “it has to do more with what can be afforded.”The Minister was at this point asked if the Government’s final offer represented a ‘livable wage’ to which he responded “it depends on how we want to live.”According to the Minster, “In many countries, compared to a lot of countries, Guyanese earn considerably more than in a lot of developing countries, that doesn’t mean that it’s sufficient.”last_img read more


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first_img– says incident yet another reason for establishment of ERCThe Indian Action Committee (IAC) has said it has taken note of the media reports of alleged racial utterances purportedly attributed to the President’s Press Officer, Lloyda Nicholas-Garrett.“Given the uneasiness that such alleged comments can precipitate and the negative impact it can have on the fragile fabric of social harmony, the IAC reiterates it’s another reason for the urgent establishment of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC),” the IAC said in a statement.Public Information and Press Services Officer Lloyda Nicholas-GarrettThe IAC, while welcoming the investigation reportedly launched into the incident, said it was gravely concerned given what was in the public domain. It, therefore, urged that the investigation be conducted thoroughly, unhindered, swiftly and its findings made public soonest, for such incidents can have national ramifications especially given its reported source.The IAC said it wished to unequivocally state its condemnation of anyone who resorts to the use of racial slurs and racial bashing in reference to and during engagements with others. “In addition, these alleged utterances unnecessarily bring to bear humiliation on those targeted,” it posited.The IAC said such actions have no place in society and have over time proven their potential in the sowing of discord. The IAC calls on all organisations to ensure its members, agents or representatives do not indulge in such actions, and they should be expelled if found responsible.The IAC believes that mixed messages were being sent through the alleged transgression by someone with direct access to the Head of State who established the Ministry of Social Cohesion with its mandate an administrative priority.The IAC also reminded that all, especially those who hold public offices, have a national responsibility not to engage in any activity or place comments in the public domain that threaten peace and harmony.last_img read more


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first_imgLANCASTER – Veterans Day observances will be conducted today in Palmdale and Lancaster cemeteries. Ceremonies will be at 11 a.m. at Lancaster Cemetery, at Division Street and Lancaster Boulevard, and also at 11 a.m. at Desert Lawn Memorial Park, 2200 E. Ave. S, Palmdale. Observances included one Thursday at Antelope Valley College, where a banner was presented to the family of Ian Stewart, a 21-year-old Marine corporal from Lake Hughes who died last December fighting in Iraq. Today at Lancaster Cemetery, the keynote speaker will be Sgt. Robert Bennett, an Antelope Valley National Guardsman who served in Iraq. Vietnam War veteran Terry Ritz will sing the national anthem and retired Navy Lt. James Tanksley will play taps. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Antelope Valley High School Navy Junior ROTC cadets will raise the American flag, and Hillview Middle School students will deliver short readings. Accompanied by cemetery trustees Jack Abney, Dennis Davenport and Darth Eliopulos, a woman Marine who rigged parachutes during World War II – Pat Murray, 87 – will place a commemorative wreath. In addition, a British flag will be placed on the grave of Maier Ben Himelstaub, who was killed in 1942 while training at War Eagle Field, now the site of Mira Loma Jail. His body couldn’t be shipped back to England in wartime, so it was buried in Lancaster. Cemetery staffers always place British flags on his grave. At the other cemetery ceremony – in Palmdale – featured speakers will be Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford; Viola Lawrence, Antelope Valley registrar of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Jim Bilas, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3552 commander; Bobby Breech, American Legion Post 348 commander; Ruben Trejo, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 commander; and Henry Weaver, Moose Lodge 507 governor. The Palmdale High School Choir Ensemble will sing the national anthem. Evie Moore of the VFW Auxiliary will sing “My Buddy.” Highland High School Air Force Junior ROTC buglers will play taps. last_img read more


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first_imgArcata >> Wyatt Tucker sat in the dugout Wednesday night and watched another local, Hoopa Valley native Junior Davis, twirl one heck of a final start to the summer. Two nights later, the roles were reversed. The performance, however, was just as impressive. Tucker, who led Arcata High to its first-ever North Coast Section title in baseball in 2016, struck out a season-high 11 and allowed all of five hits in six innings of work in the Humboldt Crabs’ 6-4 win over the Auburn Wildcats on a …last_img


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first_imgAJ Stubbs scored a team high 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half, and the McKinleyville Panthers outlasted the Hoopa Warriors 80-72 to win its first-round Logger Classic game, Thursday night at Jay Willard Gymnasium.With Thursday’s win the Panthers (4-3) advance to the semifinal round of the Logger Classic where they will face Dougherty Valley (5-1) today at 8:30 p.m.“I thought we matched their intensity tonight, which is something I didn’t think we did as good a job of the first …last_img


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first_img29 April 2016Shout out to everyone the record was broken 17181sm! @buzpr @CapeTalk @NelsonMandela thank you knitwits all over! pic.twitter.com/aTOfwPNgWA— 67 Blankets (@67Blankets) April 22, 2016The 67 Blankets for Mandela campaign encourages people from all over the world, and now prisoners from across the country, to contribute handmade blankets towards creating a giant world record-breaking blanket, while contributing to a good cause.The campaign has confirmed that the Guinness Book of Records has officially recognised the organisation’s successful world record attempt at creating the world’s biggest blanket.Over 10 300 crocheted blankets will soon be distributed to those in need – thanks to @67Blankets @Carolyn_Steyn pic.twitter.com/88Dlexk727— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) April 24, 2016On 22 April 2016, thousands of blanket contributions from as far afield as Asia, the United States and Australia, as well as blankets handmade by South African prisoners – totalling over 20 tons of handmade blankets – were stitched and combined at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre in Paarl‚ Western Cape. The combined blanket covered 17 181 square metres‚ five times larger than last year’s blanket record achieved through a similar idea in India.Knitters set world record for Nelson Mandela @67blankets #KnitWits #yeswewool #wedidit https://t.co/dQPEJMAJXy pic.twitter.com/WlnQ3S93CS— TheLuvvie (@Sinkins_E) April 26, 2016The 67 Blankets for Mandela organisation, inspired by the life and values of Nelson Mandela, approached South African prisoners to crochet and contribute their unique blanket designs to the record attempt, using almost R7-million worth of donated yarn.Drakenstein was an appropriate venue: It was from this facility that Nelson Mandela took his first steps to freedom on 11 February 1990.All blankets that formed part of the world record will be distributed to the poor.In August 2015‚ campaign founder Carolyn Steyn, together National Commissioner of Correctional Services Zach Modise, established an initiative to introduce blanket-making in prisons as part of prisoners’ rehabilitation. “The initiative offers an opportunity for inmates from across the country to give back to society‚” Modise said at the launch. “The key to rehabilitation is empowering offenders with skills to function effectively in society upon their release.”Since the organisation’s launch in 2014‚ the enthusiasm of KnitWits for Madiba – as contributors call themselves – has spread around the world. But for Steyn the prisoners’ participation was a “momentous” new direction for the concept: “Thousands of men and women serving sentences in South Africa will be largely responsible for keeping thousands upon thousands of people in impoverished communities warmer over all the winters to come‚ in the name of the greatest prisoner of them all‚ is. indicative of a healing nation‚” Steyn said at the record attempt.Watch a video clip of the successful world record attempt:Source: SABC Newslast_img read more


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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Being a seed dealer, we get a lot of questions about conventional corn compared to triple stack corn. Guys were wanting to cut costs with conventional corn this year, but we have seen in the fields and heard from customers as much as 60-bushel differences between refuge corn and triple stack corn. The triple stack corn was better side-by-side.There was a wide range of yields by different hybrids. Most of the hybrids we have really leaned on in recent years still did fairly well. Our disappointment was with the newer hybrids that didn’t take the stress as well as some of our older hybrids. I don’t know how much you can rely on the data we saw this year. Some of the information on hybrids this year is not necessarily something you want to take to the bank.We had some Artesian drought tolerant hybrids from Syngenta. Personally I didn’t think it was dry enough at the end of summer that it would have hurt our corn, but after I shelled the Artesian hybrids it looks like the dry weather took more yield out of our corn and soybeans in this area than I had thought. We have seen good things with that Artesian technology. It doesn’t necessarily save 100% of your yield, but it does help with dry conditions.last_img read more


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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A government program intended to support farmers and ranchers affected by trade disputes disproportionately benefitted large-scale and Southeastern operations, according to a minority staff report published by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, known as the Market Facilitation Program, compensated most commodity grain producers based on a single county rate per planted acre. National Farmers Union (NFU) initially expressed concern that the payment disparities among counties would put some farmers at a financial disadvantage, a fact that has been confirmed by today’s report. Although farmers in the North, Midwest, and West have experienced the greatest harm from trade disputes, 95% of counties receiving the highest payment rates are based in the Southeast. Even in adjacent counties, payment rates sometimes vary by two to three times.“Farmers in every county have been affected by withering export markets,” said Roger Johnson, NFU president. “Yet these county payment rates arbitrarily have helped farmers in some counties much more than others. If you’re unlucky enough to live in a county with a low payment rate, you may have received just a third of the assistance that your next-door neighbor got — for no apparent reason at all.”NFU was similarly worried that the vast majority of trade assistance would flow to the largest operations rather than more vulnerable small- and medium-sized operations; by some estimates, more than half of the first tranche of payments went to just one-tenth of the recipients. Since then, USDA doubled the payment limit for row crops from $125,000 to $250,000 and loosened income restrictions, paving the way for millionaires to claim an even larger share of assistance.With the number of mid-sized farms already rapidly declining, Johnson was perturbed that MFP would accelerate the alarming trend of farm-level consolidation.“During times of financial difficulty like these, bigger farms with more equity have a cushion to protect them from low prices and bad weather. But smaller operations might not be able to withstand more than a few hard years in a row,” Johnson said. “A successful food system is a diverse food system, with farms of all types and sizes. Unfortunately, USDA’s preferential treatment of larger operations will likely contribute to the ongoing homogenization of American agriculture.”Flaws aside, these programs are just a temporary solution to the very long-term damage inflicted on the United States’ trade relationships.“Trade assistance payments are not an economically sustainable way for farmers to make ends meet,” Johnson said. “Though assistance payments have proved critical to the immediate financial stability of family farmers and ranchers, their continued success depends on stable markets and fair prices. Farmers work hard to feed, fuel, and clothe America — and they should be able to make a living doing just that. We urge President Trump to work with Congress to establish policies that ensure that farmers no longer have to depend on outside help just to stay in business.”last_img read more


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first_imgReturning Warriors: Using Outdoor Recreation for Restoration & ResilienceWebinar hosted by the Family Transitions and Community Capacity Building concentration areas (recording available) Welcome to the April edition of “Network News!”Representatives from the seven concentration areas teams of the Military Families Learning Network and our liaison from the Office of Family Readiness Policy gathered in San Antonio, Texas last week for our annual network-wide meeting.  It was an opportunity to reflect on the strides we’ve made in the past year and to brainstorm for the year ahead. As the MFLN has scaled up in size, we have diversified our professional development offerings and have begun to explore the intersections of these various areas of research and practice. Cross-disciplinary collaboration is one of the greatest benefits of our structure as a network. By delving into these intersections, in the spirit of the Military Family Readiness System, military family service providers and Cooperative Extension educators are able to expand their knowledge and awareness beyond their own field. Throughout our discussions the other day, it was thrilling to hear of the multitude of collaborative possibilities that await.In case you missed them, check out a few of the recent cross-disciplinary professional development opportunities:Military Family Financial Transitions: Handling Changes in Income, Benefits, & Money ManagementWebinar and Twitter chat hosted by the Personal Finance and Family Transitions concentration areas (recording available) Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendar for one (or more!) of our upcoming professional development opportunities this month.last_img read more


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first_imgThe doping scandal has taken a dangerous turn. A former SAI doctor, who exposed how doping was rampant at National Institute of Sports, has been beaten up at Patiala. Dr Sajib Nandi had recently revealed to Headlines Today how the authorities at NIS Patiala were hand in glove in the doping scandal. Nandi was beaten up at the entrance of NIS Patiala and dragged out of the campus by the security guards as he was set to meet Justice Mudgal, who is probing the doping scam. Nandi told Headlines Today, “I’m filing report with the police shortly. The NIS director is a corrupt person.” Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Nandi has been attacked in his attempt to cleanse the system. Back in 2002 too, he was beaten up as he tried to expose the authorities’ role and involvement in doping at Patiala. Recently, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir singh Badal has taken action on the chemist shops in Patiala selling banned drugs. While raids were conducted on the shops, the state government was getting ready to cancel licences of all those found guilty of selling banned drugs. On July 5, Headlines Today had exposed how performance enhancing drugs were openly sold over the counter at chemist shops around NIS in Patiala. The expose had come amid the dope stink involving eight athletes, including golden girl Ashwini Akkunji. Headlines Today special investigation team went shopping and found no checks in place here to control the sale of banned drugs. NIS Patiala has a tarnished history dating back to 2001, when syringes and steroid strips were found in its hostels. An inquiry was ordered into the functioning of NIS by the Sports Authority of India in 2003.  Though no action has yet been taken, the report is believed to contain proof of sustained irregularities in anti-doping procedures and a nexus between NIS authorities, federation coaches and SAI officers.advertisementlast_img read more