Eye-witness: The battle is united …

… No GPSU?

The GPSU announced the first salvo at the launch of the “war break” promised during the campaign by then Finance Minister Winston Jordan. They warned that although they had requested a “conference” with the Public Service Ministry to discuss salaries, wages, allowances etc … they were being “ignored”. Now lest your Eyewitness be accused of intimidation, all it asks is for you, dear reader, to throw back your thoughts on how previous “war breaks” were triggered.

And as Julie Andrews advised us in “The Sound of Music”, we have to start at the beginning. That’s when Burnham and the PNC introduced political violence to find their way in politics in the infamous “80-day strike”. This was called by the TUC in 1963 but remarkably with the support of the Civil Service Association (CSA) which, up until then, had held a hauteur on supreme issues such as trade unions and strikes. And the Civil Service has never been the same again. Probably because of his new bare-knuckle style, his name was changed from “Civil” to “Public”. He was now very public about not being civil !!

Fast forward to the PPP returning to his post after his 28 years in the wilderness, when under the IMF’s “conditionalities”, Hoyte began docking the heavy-duty establishment. The PPP stopped that cold – but did they get any credit – even as its revenues were stretched to serve the humorous debt they had inherited? Not that you would notice when they supported the PNC’s street protests for seemingly massive pay rises! The Armstrong Commission eventually gave them a 36% pay rise and a drop in benefits!

And so the process was repeated with cynical regularity over the years – holding the PPP hostage through their control of the administrative apparatus of governance – always to advance the PNC’s agenda. All of this came to an abrupt halt, of course, when the PNC returned to its post in 2015. Although the APNU promised them (in writing) a huge pay rise that never came to light!

So now that the PPP is back, of course the GPSU – as a stalking horse for the PNC – belts its loins for battle. And what do they want? Not much: just a 50% increase in wages, Travel Allowance; Maintenance Allowance; Meal Allowance; Uniform Allowance; Housing Allowance; The reintroduction of key and critical allowances such as Pension Benefits; Leisure Facilities; childcare centers and a G $ 10,000,000 subsidy to fund Trade Union Education programs throughout the country.

Now, while the Government has set aside $ 10B for salary contingency, surely you are not naive enough to believe that this is the CASE of the upcoming war?
Nah … it’s just the OCCASION!

… Against COVID -19?

As your Eyewitness has been warning with high arms to heaven, he does so again this Easter Monday – as the Son of God ascends – that we the people must stop be so irresponsible about the threat of COVID 19. It’s not a matter of “lifting our socks” – which is just about our appearance – in observing that COVID 19 precautions will literally save our lives.

If the upward trend in DEATHS is not a wake-up call, then you risk yourself from not waking up at all. By March 25, a year after our first death, we had an average of 218 deaths of almost 19 a month. Since then, we have had 23 deaths in 9 days !! This is very scary! All we hear is that there is an increase in deaths? And now young men are dying.
Why? Are there new, more furious variants? How will we ever know – as the MoH says – that our samples are no longer tested by CARPHA?
What does the COCID Task Force do ?!

… This Easter

Your Eyewitness’s simple test today to check whether some citizens are at least modifying their behavior in view of the COVID 19 pandemic, is to identify the number of kites over its neighborhood.
Cut to almost nothing!