Lots of teachers breathed a sigh of relief that their strike’s over and they can get back to what they do best – teach our children to get qualified for their adult responsibilities. In other words, to secure the future of all of us in Guyana. But it didn’t have to come to this, did it? If only PNC leaders would keep their word! But then, old people say “if pigs had wings they’d fly”!! It’ll never happen.
And teachers should remember this – all 10,000 of them – when they trek to the polls in 2020. Before the election, just like in 2015, the PNC/APNU – and whoever they inveigle to get into a coalition since the AFC will be long dead and buried – will come around with all kinds of sweet talk. They’ll promise the moon and the stars – not to mention doling out oil money directly into their bank accounts!
But did they promise Public Servants “substantial raises” if they were elected in 2015 didn’t they? And that teachers would be the “highest paid” of them all. And what did teachers get? The same thing that Nagamootoo – who was once a teacher! – got: larwah!! But to the teachers’ eternal credit, they didn’t take their larwah lying down like Nagamootoo. No siree Bob!! They used all avenues open to them to demand their living wage, and when they realised they were being given the royal run around – they used their ultimate weapon: STRIKE!!
Can you imagine what could’ve happened if Nagamootoo had developed a pair and went on strike when Granger stiffed him from all the powers promised in the Cummingsburg Accord?? Maybe he should’ve remained a teacher and retain some testicular fortitude!! Guyana might’ve seen some real compromise in governance – not the unilateralism that Granger has been allowed to get away with – until now!!
Your Eyewitness must once again admit he had his doubts about the nature of the standoff early on. He felt for sure the PNC of Granger would’ve had the good sense not to tee off such a large bloc of supporters. If he was willing to go down that route, it could only mean he really didn’t need their votes or felt so secure they wouldn’t switch to the PPP, he could thumb his nose at them!! In a situation where a mere 5000 voted separated him from the PPP, he had to be ABSOLUTELY sure of getting back into office.
If he now imitates Burnham and cracks down on the GTU for daring to stand up to him, we’ll all know he has a sure bet up his sleeve. Let’s see the arbitrators!
…over prison contraband
It seems that nary a week goes by when a sweep by prison wardens don’t turn up an amazing collection of contraband. In all of the prisons – save Mazaruni. But then it’s possible we just don’t get reports from that locale – or no sweeps are conducted. It’s hard to believe those prisoners are sticking to the straight and narrow. Especially when a substantial number of the Camp Street population was transferred there after they burnt their dorms down to the ground!!
Now you’d think by now the authorities would’ve wised up to all the tricks of the smugglers’ trade – but it aint gonna happen. There’s just too much money involved when you consider the pay of the wardens! Banks found out a long time ago that if you want employees not to steal them blind they shouldn’t create a moral hazard by paying them peanuts. Similarly, just like with teachers, the Government offered a lot of fat talk about improving their conditions of work and their wage structure.
And all they got was Larwah. Expect more contraband!!
Opposition Leader Jagdeo suggested the UN should supervise our 2020 elections. He should’ve demanded they also send down some of their peacekeeping troops.