After a disastrous three-hour meeting today with government representatives, the executive of the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has been directed by its members to inform the Department of Labour that teachers will be proceeding on strike action beginning in the pre-term period and continuing into at least the first week of the new school year.
The union was invited back to the negotiating table today by the government in a move some members described as “unfair” and “disrespectful” and though they tried to be hopeful government rejected the majority of the requests made by the union.
In 2015 the GTU submitted a multi-year proposal requesting an initial increase of 40% but government has responded by offering “a ball park figure of $700 million to facilitate an increase in salaries for all teachers based on the current salary scale.”
This the union explained to its members translates to a mere 5% increase per teacher. It has been rejected.
The teachers have also rejected an offer of $200 million to facilitate de-bunching for the year 2018/2019 while government has rejected a request for monthly stress/risk allowance of $5,000.
A request for an annual clothing allowance of $25,000 has also been rejected in favour of the current sum of $8,000. In total government has refused outright 22 of the 27 requests made by the union.
Union members described the response from the Ministry as a slap in the face and directed President Mark Lyte to let the Ministry know “We will not be there when school re-opens.”