The present imbroligo between the GTU and the Govt leaves more questions than answers. Clearly! The government having decried the wages that teachers were receiving in their election campaign as being inadequate seems hell bent on keeping it that way. GTU leader, Mark Lyte said, “When it comes to salary increases, de-bunching, clothing allowances, they are not prepared to budge”.
So far, the Government is only “committed to paying teachers a $700 million one-off pay out and once agreed upon, a specialist will be contracted to determine a suitable percentage increase. Teachers are not silly, they know that the phrase, “a specialist to determine a suitable percentage increase”, is a sham. It’s the Government’s method of placing an issue on the proverbial “back burner”. I don’t recall the Government hiring a specialist to determine the 50% increase that they gave themselves! The Task Force that was set up to solve the issue of salary increase for teachers had recommended the 40% increase for 2016 and 5% yearly after, which the GTU is initially asking for. The Government’s refusal to heed the recommendation of its own Task Force is indicative that the Task Force was used to filibuster on the issue since last year- now the pretence moves to hiring a “specialist to determine a suitable percentage increase.” Can you believe how silly they think the teachers and their union are?
Lyte found it expedient to initiate strike action, hoping the Government would have been induced to deliver something of substance. That did not happen. Instead the Minister of Education went through a rigmarole about how much Government is spending on education and teachers. Minister Henry said, “We have been developing them (teachers) and making them even more marketable”. Obviously! If a product is made more marketable, it should command a higher price – not so for the poor teachers! It’s difficult to comprehend Henry’s deranged logic!
When asked if the Government has any contingency plan in the face of an impending strike action by teachers, the Minister said that there is always a “contingency plan.” She added, ”Even before we were born, those before us set up institutions and instruments by which we are guided, so they knew that when things happen, you had to have something in place…they made those provisions, so when the need arises, we have to activate them. That can’t change, that’s life.” Clearly, Minister Henry showed no intention of cutting the union any slack.
The stalemate has reached a point where the MoSP wants mediation while the union wants arbitration. MoSP wants the strike to be called off before arbitration begins. This reminds me of an incident. In the absence of a union, a worker sought to represent his co-workers, who were always heckling among themselves. So, he went to the Boss and said, “Boss this wuk hard bad, all the boys them say you should use you conscience and give we something more.” The Boss responded, “so if me na give you all anything more, wha you all gone do?” The worker said, “Aah! Well boss, we gon ga fo wuk fo the same thing.”
Lyte has his job cut out! Those in question may be willing to”wuk fo the same thing” in their quest for their little moment. I hope they don’t make Lyte look like a fool!
Jan 19, 2019By Sean Devers The Berbician pace pair of Clinton Pestano and Romario Shepherd shared seven wickets between on a truncated second day of the fifth round of 2019 Regional First-Class cricket...
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