Teachers plan strike

-after gov’t rejects proposed wages and benefits pact

For more than four hours yesterday teachers from as far as East Berbice/Corentyne waited outside the Ministry of Education on Brickdam to hear the results of the negotiations between the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU). (Terrence Thompson photo)

With government rejecting the majority of salary and non-salary measures in a multi-year agreement proposed by the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), the new school year could begin with a strike by teachers.

“Let them know we will not be there when school opens,” Stacy Benjamin told the union’s central executive at an impromptu meeting that was called by union members following a failed attempt at negotiation between the GTU and a government delegation.

Her sentiment was echoed by nearly 100 teachers who had gathered at the union’s headquarters yesterday. Though the number was relatively small, the gathering saw representation from a large number of the union’s 53 branches, who informed the decision to begin industrial action in the pre-term, which begins on August 27th. The action, which will take the form of a complete withdrawal of service, will continue into the first week of the new school year…..