Following a two-hour long meeting held today, between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU) aimed at settling the ongoing wages dispute, Education Minister Nicolette Henry has said that the teachers’ salary increases is “a work in progress”.
Coming out of the meeting, representatives of the Union were seen with smiling faces but were however tight-lipped about the proceedings.
Teachers were assured however, that they (teachers) can sleep well tonight as the two sides have agreed to review new information which was not presented before, to reach an agreement by Friday.
In a statement to the media, it was related that “the two parties have committed to review the new information with a view of ensuring that the interest of all teachers will be considered”.
Further it was pointed out that “The Ministry of Education has undertaken to provide a matrix of figures which will be presented for discussion on October 12, 2018”.
An agreement was expected to be reached on Wednesday following a meeting held on Monday with President David Granger, which saw Granger stating that the Union and MoE had reached a “common ground”.
Coming out of the meeting held at State House, the new offer made to the Union was that of 10% for the year 2016, nothing for the year 2017 and an 8% increase for the year 2018.
Henry had also indicated to the Union that a debauching payment offer of $350M will be made for the periods 2011-2018; with these payments to be made in December.
If the new offer is accepted by the Union, retroactive 2016 payments will be made in the new year.
The Union is presently consulting with its members before making a decision on whether to accept or decline the offer during today’s meeting.
General Secretary of GTU Coretta McDonald was quoted in sections of the media as saying that their members are not supportive of the new offer.
On Wednesday, Granger had said that Government was consulting with the Finance Ministry regarding affordability.
Strike action was taken on August 27 which lasted for two weeks after the Education Ministry had rejected a negotiable 40% increase being requested by the Union for teachers across Guyana.
Following a meeting, strike action was called off after the Ministry had agreed to go to arbitration to have the matter settled.