Gov’t toying with teachers’ remuneration package

Dear Editor,

I am utterly surprised at the comments made by His Excellency President Granger when he visited the GTU headquarters on Labour Day. President Granger is reported to have said, when questioned about the teachers’ remuneration package, that ‘the recommendations are with the Ministry of Finance’. This is ludicrous and absolutely unacceptable from the head of state.

When the task force was set up in November 2017, Dr. Hector Butts who is the finance secretary within the Ministry of Finance was named as a member. The finance ministry had a representative on the task force. Why does the proposal have to go back to the Ministry of Finance?

Just in case: the Ministry of the Presidency had a representative (Mr. McWilfred), the Ministry of Communities had a representative (Mr. Mc Garrell); also the Department of Public Service had a representative. As such, His Excellency should not use these ministries and departments to delay the signing of the agreement. He needs to use some other ministries and departments. I would suggest the Ministries of Public Security or Health.

What is worse is that President Granger bluntly refused, when asked, to give a date when the agreement will be signed by the government. This is disrespectful to the very task force which His Excellency put into place.

Editor, the implication of the task-force initiative which was put in place by President Granger is that both parties (GTU and the Government of Guyana (through the Ministry of Education) are bound by the recommendations because the recommendations were made by these very people.

Minister of State, Mr. Harmon, when asked about the agreement, said that the document is with cabinet. President Granger said that the document is with the Ministry of Finance. Where is the document really? Cabinet? Ministry of Finance? Ministry of Education? Ministry of Communities?

This is one of the greatest political ploys used by this government in its short history of governance. GTU must act now.

Yours faithfully,

Mohammed S. Hussain

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