Apr 10, 2018 News
A final report of the High Level Task Force established to fast-track salary negotiations for public school teachers has been completed.
According to President of the Guyana Teachers’ Union [GTU], Mr. Mark Lyte, the union is especially pleased that the process has been completed.
Lyte informed that the GTU, which was a part of the negotiation team, is rather pleased with the recommendations made and hopes that the report will be treated with urgency, since it has been just over five months since the work of the Task Force commenced.
“We urge our teachers to rally around their union to ensure that teachers receive what we are due in this profession,” said Lyte.
In fact he added, “The recommendations which were made, addresses many important issues which when addressed will once again place teaching as one of the most sought after in Guyana.”
The Task Force members on Friday last handed over their report to Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry, at a simple ceremony. Upon receiving the much anticipated document, Minister Henry expressed her appreciation to the Task Force members for the work done and committed to ensuring that the document gains the attention of Cabinet after she would have perused it.
At the ceremony, brief remarks were delivered by Chairman of the Task Force and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Vibert Welch, and the GTU President.
This publication has been privy to information that before the end of the current school year, public school teachers could see the signing into effect a new multi-year salary agreement package complete with a pay hike and other deserving benefits.
The culmination of the April to July school term will mark the end of the school year.
According to reports reaching this publication, once the relevant representatives of both the Education Ministry and the GTU affix their signatures to the agreement it will become effective, allowing for teachers to reap the associated benefits. Ahead of this phase, approval is first required at the level of Cabinet.
However, the completion of the multi-year package, which was negotiated by the Task Force, is likely to appease the protracted concerns of public school teachers.
The establishment of the Task Force, which comprised government and union representatives, is one that followed on the heels of threats of strike action from the GTU in retaliation to the slow pace of addressing a pay increase for teachers.
In recognition of the dilemma, President David Granger himself instructed that the Task Force be established to fast-track the teachers’ salary issue.
The initial proposal presented by the GTU was for a 40 percent across the board increase for teachers for 2016; 45 percent increase for last year and 50 percent for this year and the following two years [2019-2020] for all categories of teachers. This publication, however, has not been able to ascertain whether the proposed percentage has been retained following the negotiation process. There were reports that suggested that the union, during the negotiation, was required to justify the percentage outlined in its proposal.
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