With no response forthcoming from Government in regard to their plight, school cleaners have again taken to the streets to protest what they describe as inhumane treatment from the authorities.
Following demonstration exercises held at the Ministry of the Presidency on Tuesday and the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, sweeper-cleaners again took to the streets on Thursday, this time in front of the Ministry of Education’s Department of Culture Youth and Sport, demanding that their cries be heard.
Their concerns, among others, stemmed from them not being paid their full salaries for the July/August holiday period. Many of the cleaners, who are also single parent women, said they received a salary of $9000 or less. According to them, the horror unfolded when they checked their bank accounts.
“They are not answering us as yet! They have not even come out and deal with us! We need to get an answer today, or else we are not going back to work. We are going to be out every day to enforce it!” one protestor declared.
“Right now we have not received any response from the Ministry of the Presidency or (the) Ministry of Finance. We ain’t get anything from them up to now! No answer on this one-week payment that they give us to support our children!” another single mother said.
Still another protestor, who was leading the chant of, “One week salary can’t pay!” said, “We get school clothes to buy…we are single parents out here, and we can’t get that. That is not fair for us! When it goes across the board, we ain’t getting any; that ain’t fair!” she said. First Vice President of the Guyana Public Service Union, Mortimer Livan, has said the demonstrations will continue until someone responds. “Nothing positive as yet.
We are still waiting to see what is going to happen,” he told this publication on the sidelines of the protest. He also said “We are going to be out here tomorrow (today) and next week. We are going to continue until we see some things happening.” Following the first protest — on Tuesday at Ministry of the Presidency — Livan had said the conditions under which the cleaners work are unacceptable.
He said the situation is developing further into an economic disaster for the workers and their families, as they are on many occasions the only source of income for their families.
INews was told that a meeting has been arranged between GPSU representatives and Government officials to discuss the matter.