The Guyana Public Service Commission (GPSU) on Wednesday facilitated its 23rd biennial conference at State House, which was declared open by caretaker President David Granger.In the presence of stakeholders from the public sector, GPSU President Patrick Yarde highlighted the current situation of public servants, explaining that some of them are living on small wages. This, he noted, is grossly inadequate.GPSU President Patrick Yarde“The reality is that many public servants are living in abject poverty…Whoever is responsible for advising the Government about the adequacy of pay is not merely only out of touch with the needs of workers, but I would say, unconscionable…I have often wondered why is there a lack of addressing the human needs of life and living that are grossly inadequate,” Yarde asserted.The conference was organised to address topical issues which have affected public servants in Guyana. In the past, there have been many calls for increased wages and other benefits.Meanwhile, the Granger sought to recognise the evolution of public service during his address, noting that it has become more competitive and complex. The prevalence of unemployment among youths was also acknowledged.“The Public Service has changed since those slow, sluggish days. It has become a more complex network of agencies, departments and Ministries offering a variety of services to wider urban, rural, hinterland and even international communities in terms of the Foreign Service. It has also become more competitive and the people who acquire new skills can perform better than their colleagues, will move further, faster… It is a fact that too many young people, between the ages of 15-24, are not in education, employment or training”.Changes in the public sector, he said, have resulted in their survival for many decades. But public servants must be educated and trained to meet the demands of other sectors which will come in the future.“A study of trade unionism in Guyana over the past century will indicate how many have disappeared because they failed to change with the times. Change, also, is taking place at a rapid pace and is transforming the nature of the workplace. Workers who are not prepared for the continuous changes in the field and office could find their careers retarded and their service redundant,” Granger insisted.He stated that if persons are not educated, they will lose opportunities and employment. As such, the Head of State encouraged partnerships between trade unions and other agencies.“Workers will be unable to adapt to this new workplace environment unless they receive constant training. Education is essential to preparing employees to enter the labour market and once in the labour market, to adapt continuously to the changing nature of work. It means that education must be continuous”.Granger added that workers require better training to be able to adapt to this environment. “Unions, particularly the Public Service Union, must play a part in helping its members to adapt to these changes and to ensure that the workforce is better educated in order to play a meaningful role in the delivery of these services”.