As the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) forges ahead with its planned countrywide strike, teachers on Monday took to the streets after Government failed to meet their demand of a 40 per cent salary increase.
President of GTU, Mark Lyte, on Sunday said that since there was no contact from Government since last Thursday, the strike will go on as planned.
“The strike will continue until further notice,” he stated, but added that the Union is always open for discussion.
Teachers are seeking increases of 40 per cent under a multi-year arrangement up to 2020. However, Government has maintained that it just cannot afford this proposal, offering a 2018-2019 pay off.
A third round of conciliation between the Education Ministry and the GTU on Thursday last ended again in impasse, as both parties refused to budge on their position.
At this point in time, Lyte said the Union feels arbitration might be the best option going forward.
Meanwhile, schools across the country opened on Monday after the August holidays with reports that scores of teachers countrywide have stood firm in their decision to support the Union.
INews was able to confirm that the doors of Cotton Tree Primary school, Windsor Forest Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools and Houston Secondary Schools are locked and students as well as their parents were seen waiting in the compound.
On the other hand, Peter’s Hall Primary School students were sent home, along with students from the New Diamond Primary school.
No teachers showed up for work at the Starter’s Nursery school on Camp Street, Georgetown, and this online publication was informed that there is a partial strike ongoing at the Company Road Primary school and the Mon Repos Primary.
Sources confirmed that some substitute teachers arrived to work.
At the Mon Repos Primary School, students whose class teachers did not turn up were placed in other classes.
A large group of teachers were also seen protesting at the Region Four Regional Democratic Office with placards in their hands.
Teachers at the Vreed-en-Hoop Secondary and Primary schools were also seen picketing the Region 3 Regional Democratic Office.
From Cummings Lodge to Better Hope and BV to Buxton as well as areas such as Enterprise, Ann’s Grove, Mahaicony and Mahaica there was marked uncertainty about what was taking place.
This forced some parents to return home with the children while others left them at the mercy of the school’s administration wherever teachers did report for duty.
Meanwhile, in Georgetown, “Solidarity Forever” is presently the tune being sung by several teachers who are holding placards and protesting in front of the Ministry of Education on Brickdam road.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), initial reports for Linden, region 10 suggest that a few of the schools are closed and teacher are assembling in front of the Ministry of Education’s Region 10 Department for industrial action.
This publication was later informed that a significant amount of teachers are currently on strike in Linden.
It was outlined by the DPI that Senior officers within the Ministry of Education are currently visiting schools across Guyana in an effort to ascertain the impact of the planned strike action by the GTU.