Nov 27, 2016 News
…linked to TSC’s failure to adhere to court-instructed review
Strike action could hamper the start of the school term in January. This course of action could, however, be averted if delayed public school teachers’ appointments are completed by that time.
This disclosure was made by President of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), Mark Lyte.
According to Lyte, two weeks have already elapsed since a ruling was handed down by the High Court for the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and Schools Board Secretariat (SBS) to review preliminary lists of senior teachers’ promotions. To date, he noted, that there is no evidence that the review has commenced.
Lyte told this publication that the union has been paying close attention to the inaction of both the TSC and the SBS.
But the union is not prepared to take this inaction lightly. According to Lyte, “My union will not sit back any longer on this matter.”
Chief Justice, Yonette Cummings-Edwards, on November 10, last, ruled that the 2015 senior promotion lists from both entities be reviewed.
The stalled promotions had resulted in no senior teachers’ promotions for the past two years.
The court proceeding was initiated by an injunction filed by the GTU which had reason to believe that the promotion process of both the TSC and the SBS was flawed.
At a recent press conference, Lyte said that the ruling essentially quashed the preliminary promotion lists that were completed by both the TSC and the Secretariat for 2015 and made clear that the very lists were unlawful, irrational, unreasonable, in excess of jurisdiction, null and void and of no legal effect.
“The Chief Justice agreed that the lists were flawed…the lists that were produced should not be used to facilitate 2015 promotions. She instructed and compelled the TSC and the Schools Board Secretariat to assess all applications for promotions afresh,” Lyte disclosed.
According to Lyte, “Since that ruling was given there has been no effort whatsoever on the part of TSC or SBS to commence the process. Instead, they are saying that they await advice from their lawyer. Well it is clear for all to see that the TSC is not prepared to abide by the ruling of the court which took 17 months to give its decision.”
Moreover, Lyte disclosed that should this year come to an end without any adherence to the judgement that favoured the union, stern action will be taken.
“We will be calling out our teachers come January if these reviews are not done. It is our belief that TSC is afraid of what they will discover. We also believe that they have no regards for the rule of law,” said Lyte as he shared his conviction that “the TSC simply does not care about the teachers who are affected.”
According to GTU General Secretary, Ms. Coretta McDonald, although the Board has some level of autonomy it is essentially governed by the TSC. She explained that while the TSC had a couple of years ago given authority to the Secretariat to do promotions, appointments and recommend and institute disciplinary actions against teachers, since the recent ruling this authority was revoked by the TSC.
There are reports that the TSC is preparing to appeal the High Court ruling. But according to Lyte, “The Union is calling on Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, and President David Granger to look into this matter urgently because the new year will not see GTU accepting any excuse from TSC.”
A member of the legal fraternity, yesterday, informed this publication that failure to review the promotion lists could see the TSC being cited for contempt.
In addition to consulting with its lawyer, Mr. Roysdale Forde, the Union is on Monday planning to dispatch letters to TSC and to President Granger to amplify its desire to have the review process, when it is being done, to be looked over by representatives of the GTU.
This move, according to General Secretary McDonald, is to emphasise the fact that “we do not and cannot trust the TSC.”
She said that it was the TSC that has been delaying the process and continues to do so even if it means subverting the course of justice.
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