UG workers may settle for 10% “interim” increase; likely to return to work on Monday

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By Jomo Paul

L – R: A University of Guyana Student, University of Guyana Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi and UGSSA President Dr Melissa Ifill protesting recently. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] –After five weeks of industrial action by the workers of the University of Guyana, a possibility now exists that they may return to their posts on Monday, March 02 if there’s an agreement between the unions and the administration on a 10% interim increase.

President of the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA), Dr Melissa Ifill told iNews in an interview on Friday, February 27 that the unions met with the UG administration on Thursday but there was no tangible agreement by the two sides.

The UGSSA and the University of Guyana Workers Union had initiated their protest action in January demanding a 60% increase across the board for workers. The industrial action escalated after the university counter proposed with a 5% offer that was described as a “pittance.”

Dr Ifill explained that at this time, the parties have arrived at a consensus that would see workers receiving a 10% increase in the interim since that was the offer that both sides were “comfortable” with.

When probed, she further articulated that if a decision is taken by the University’s administration to institute the salary increases today, workers may return to the university by Monday and there could be a return to normalcy.

However, despite the progressive talks between the unions and the administration, protest action by the students continued on Thursday February 26 with some students burning tyres to blockade the entrance to the university.

The University of Guyana Student Society (UGSS) had initiated another string of protests during last week calling for “All Classes or No Classes” since a small amount of lecturers were still teaching despite the industrial action.