The way forward regarding the de-bunching payments owed to public school teachers will continue today when a contingent of Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) members meet with Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Education, Ms. Delma Nedd.
Last Thursday the GTU was able to discuss a number of its concerns at two “highly appreciated” meetings – one with the PS and another with President David Granger at the Ministry of the Presidency.
“Progressive and satisfying” is how GTU President, Mr. Mark Lyte, has described the move by Government to meet with union representatives and discuss its several concerns, including the de-bunching payment.
Frustrated GTU executive members at a press conference last week Tuesday had spoken of the possibility of engaging industrial action to retaliate the non payment of de-bunching money to teachers.
The former administration, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, in an agreement with the Union, had committed to paying the de-bunching monies to teachers but by the lead up to the May 11, 2015 elections reneged on this promise.
The GTU had then initiated work to rule industrial action but had halted it in order to give the coalesced A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change Government a chance to meet the de-bunching payment demand. At that time Lyte asserted that “It is only fair that we give the new Government a chance. We are hoping to soon have a meeting with the government to state our case and hopefully, it will honour the payment due to teachers.”
“So we have decided to suspend the work to rule industrial action until after discussions are held, and then we will decide the way forward,” he informed in May.
Commenting on the meetings of last week, Lyte informed this publication that the discussions seem to finally be going in the right direction. This is despite no concrete decision being made as to when the money could be payable to teachers.
“There are indications that Government is going to honour the agreement of paying the de-bunching money and dealing with other outstanding issues. The meetings were satisfactory…enough progress was made as to the direction that we need to go concerning honouring our concerns,” Lyte told this publication as he added, “This is something that teachers, who have waited too long, should know.”
“We have not been told when the payment will be done but I think the meetings were more progressive than all the others we’ve had so far,” said the GTU President.
He has premised his belief on the fact that there have already been attempts to chart a plan for payment in terms of calculating how teachers should be paid.
The de-bunching notion speaks varied scales of payment for teachers which will ensure that they are paid based on qualifications and years of service.
“We have already started to look at how and whatever is needed to be done to resolve this issue…at the other meetings held before there were discussions, we submitted documents and then you didn’t hear anything after that,” said Lyte.
“We now have hope that there has even been a decision to meet at another time…I think we are moving a step closer to a resolution; we are happy with the direction we are going with this particular matter,” Lyte confided.
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