Teachers’ salary impasse: GTU not in support of Govt’s offer as President talks up another meeting

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President David Granger locked in talks with GTU executives – Mark Lyte and Corretta McDonald – and the Education Ministry’s team led by Minister Nicolette Henry at Monday’s meeting

President David Granger on Wednesday said that contrary to media reports, the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has not put forward any new offers.

He was speaking following the accreditation of the Chilean ambassador at State House.

According to the DPI, the president said it was agreed at Monday’s meeting that government would consult with the Finance Ministry regarding affordability, while the Union agreed to consultation with its executives.

Many of the issues raised by the GTU after Monday’s meeting were not raised during the meeting, President Granger noted.

The president said it was government’s belief that the appointment of the arbitrator, among other matters, was already settled.

He noted, however, that if the GTU so desires, the matters can be addressed at another meeting of the two sides.

This is as General Secretary of the GTU Coretta McDonald, was quoted in sections of the media saying that their members are not in support of the new offer.

Government has proposed a 10 per cent increase for 2016, nothing for 2017 and eight per cent for 2018.

Both parties were reportedly scheduled to meet today (Wednesday) where McDonald said that a new offer would be advanced in a counter to the 10 and 8 per cent thrown out by Government.

It was outlined that after consideration, the Union revealed that even though 10 per cent is being offered for 2016, interim payments which were received in 2016 and 2017 of 6 and 8 per cent respectively would see the final offer for 2016 being an increase of only 4 per cent.

Monday’s meeting came after GTU had mobilised their teachers to be on standby for countrywide strike action following the unilateral appointment of Professor Leyland Lucas by the Labour Department to Chair the arbitration panel.

Strike action was taken on August 27 which lasted for two weeks after the Education Ministry had refused to honour the Unions request for a 40 per cent increase for teachers across Guyana.

Following failed conciliation talks, strike action was called off after the Ministry had agreed to go to arbitration to have the matter settled.

However, this too remained at a standstill after both parties could not find common ground on the arbitration panel, more so its Chair.

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