PM of Guinea-Bissau wants commission to look into civil servants' debts

PM of Guinea-Bissau wants commission to look into civil servants’ debts

The prime minister of Guinea-Bissau, Nuno Gomes Nabiam, wants a commission to investigate existing debts to the country’s civil servants, who have been on strike for a year, according to a statement issued Friday

The prime minister met this week with the negotiating committee of the National Union of Guinea-Bissau Workers (UNTG), the country’s main trade union, with the “aim of unblocking what has been the bottleneck in negotiations” between the government and social partners.

Following the meeting, the Prime Minister recommended the creation of a commission, made up of members of the Government and unions, “for the assessment of all existing debts”.

The commission should also present a “debt repayment plan, taking into consideration the country’s financial situation”.

The recommendations also include the “restitution of nurses’ salary deductions for the months of October and November” and the “salaries and incentives of the Ministry of Finance employees, for the months of August, September and October”.

The payment of two months of workload, the opening of an account for new employees of the Ministry of Health to start paying them, and the process of hiring doctors from “Médecins Sans Frontières”, are other recommendations included in the information note.

The memo also clarifies that the demands presented by the UNTG to hold an internal recruitment campaign among the staff of different ministries to fill vacancies for “service directors, division heads and equivalent” are still under discussion.

Under discussion continues the “continuity of payment of debts contracted with privatised public companies”.

The Government and the UNTG also continue to negotiate the “payment of all debts incurred, since 2003, with Civil Service workers”.

The union has been calling for waves of general strikes in the civil service since December 2020.

Workers are demanding from the Government the exoneration of employees hired without public tender, improvement of working conditions and an increase in the minimum wage.

Read also: Guinea-Bissau government raises taxes in 2021
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