Sasenarine Singh (SN 03/09/18) adds his name to the list of social commentators, the most recent being GHK Lall, who unabashedly try to undermine the efforts of the GTU in securing increased salaries and other welfare benefits for teachers.
These individuals, who often extend their knowledge and experience to provide justifiable criticism of our administration, by offering arbitrary, generally unsubstantiated percentages which go nowhere in helping the cause of teachers, are adding to the prevailing gossip and conjecture on the subject, and inadvertently overstep the limits of their qualifications.
Teachers and their union should by now realize that Granger and his administration had no intention of addressing their concerns from the beginning, until forced to do so, at the risk of increased hardships for teachers as they proceed on strike for what is now owed to them.
We have been going to great lengths to shed light on resolving teachers’ concerns. We maintain that discussions should focus on determining a living wage, versus the appropriateness of arbitrary percentages which attempt to reflect what government can ‘afford’.
Wages and salaries of teachers are an important and necessary cost of government expenditure, and the true value of this item must be determined and funded. At this point in time also, they are a social priority, and this should be reflected in government policy.
Singh’s proposition, and his assertion that the GTU would accept same, we consider presumptuous, and disrespectful to both the union and teachers.
Using a monthly salary of $60,000 as a proxy for that of a junior teacher in 2016, Singh is proposing that $69,000 as acceptable. This compares with our proposal of $146,000/mth, which we have demonstrated using generalized estimates of fixed household expenses, is yet still inadequate to meet the financial commitments of teachers and workers in general.
This analysis is applied to the full range of the GTU’s initial proposal in the adjoining table. We reiterate our unreserved support for the union’s proposals (excluding miscellaneous items for now), and we encourage all teachers to throw their full support behind the Union’s effort at this important time of their negotiations.
While the revised salary amounts might initially appear large, they continue to be wholly insufficient until around 2020, when the gross salary has reached $200,000, as demonstrated in the lower section of the table.
The amount of $30,000 for rent has been applied since this is about the cost of a house valued at three million dollars, which we in Guyana know is enough to complete only three quarters of a home in some areas of the country.
Line 20 shows the weekly amount available to teachers to meet expenses for their dependents, food, clothing and other miscellaneous items. Once again, we urge teachers to come out in full support of their Union, and hold fast to their demands for improved compensation. This will be the last in a long time before any such negotiations are possible.
Sep 23, 2018By Sean Devers Three-time Champions GCC beat Police by 15 runs in yesterday’s the NBS 40-overs second division semi-final at Bourda to advance to the final against the winner of two-time champions...
During the CPL semi-final, my wife and I were switching channels after each over to escape the onerous banality of seeing... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]