Specialist to be hired to determine GTU salary increases

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…as teacher’s strike to officially commence on August 27

File Photo: GTU President, Mark Lyte standing in protest after the announcement was made in 2017 that teachers will receive the same increases as public servants

Even though there is a task force consisting of Government Ministers which had the input of Government regarding salary increases for teachers across Guyana, it is now being indicated that a specialist would have to be contracted to determine the increases.

This was told to the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU) President, Mark Lyte on Thursday when Government rejected the Union’s proposal which has since resulted in the treat of industrial actions.

GTU has since circulated a letter to its members, informing them that they are not to report for pre-term activities until further notice.

This signals the start of its strike action following the failed talks between Government and the Union.

Last week, the GTU Executive met with Education Minister Nicolette Henry and Social Protection Minister Amna Ally, among other senior officials, to iron out issues surrounding the teachers’ salary increases.

However, Government shot down the union’s entire proposal in regard to increases.

The union had initially requested a 40 per cent increase in 2016; 45 per cent in 2017, and 50 per cent in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

However, they eventually compromised during the negotiation phase and agreed to accept a 40 per cent to serve as a base from 2016 with 5 percent incremental increase for the remaining years.

The Government was officially informed of the planned action on Monday.

The letter stated that the decision was taken by the GTU on the insistence of its members to call strike action due to failed talks between them and the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The Union views the counter-proposal tabled by MoE as an insult to the integrity of all teachers in Guyana.

“We believe that enough patience was exhibited by the Union to allow MoE to arrive at a satisfactory proposal. Strike will officially commence on 27 August 2018, and will continue until further notice. GTU calls on all teachers to join in this justified action, since our rights are being infringed by our employer. This decision is supported not only by General Council, but our private opinion poll among teachers and civic-minded persons across Guyana indicates that teachers nationwide have full support for this action,” the letter stated.

According to Lyte, the Teachers are urged to begin handing over the school’s key to the respective Education Departments.

The Guyana Teachers’ Union has been engaged in discussions with the Government since 2015, when their multi-year agreement came to an end.

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