Legal action will be taken if Teachers face salary cuts for supporting strike- GTU

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GTU President, Mark Lyte

Government could face a High Court injunction should it proceed with deductions to the salaries of teachers.

This position was indicated by GTU President Mark Lyte who told this media group on Wednesday that the Union gave “certain instructions” on the way forward.

“We got certain advice and we’re going to work with that,” Lyte noted, responding in the affirmative when asked if court action was on the cards.

His meeting with the lawyer comes against the backdrop of concerns raised earlier this week by teachers when they expressed fear of victimisation and salary reduction should they support their union’s industrial action.

The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) is mobilising teachers ahead of the countrywide strike slated for August 27.

Commenting on President David Granger’s attributed statements that his Government does not want a confrontation with the Union, Lyte observed that on the contrary, GTU has always attempted to solve the situation amicably throughout the rule of the current Administration.

“The Union has never been confrontational. The fact that we sat with them for almost three years to come to an agreement is an indication that the Union doesn’t advocate for confrontation. We are trying to negotiate peacefully,” Lyte posited.

Over the last two days, GTU held engagements with a meeting in Linden on Tuesday and another in Bartica on Wednesday.

Speaking on Wednesday’s meeting, the Union President highlighted that 80 out 150 teachers turned out in support of the Union’s strike action in spite of the day being a holiday.

“They are overwhelmingly supportive of the strike action,” he noted.

The GTU has rejected Government’s request for teachers to agree to a debunching pay-off of $200 million for 2018/19.

Lyte said the Union similarly rejected the $700 million cap that was placed on salary increases which was for 2018 only.

Government also wants the clothing allowance to remain at $8000, a figure which Lyte said was given in 2011. He said too that for Whitley Council Leave, teachers still have to wait four years before getting their one month off even though the GTU appealed for three years.

The union is seeking increases of 40 per cent for its 7000 members.

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