As strike action continues in the teaching fraternity, the Government does not seem too perturbed. The word is that Minister Henry is looking for recruits to replace striking teachers. That is definitely not a sign of any intent to compromise with the union. It seems striking teachers will have to dig in for the long haul and more will have to join their colleagues This strike action will have to yield results for teachers. If it doesn’t , the disrespect that will be meted out to all teachers would be painful. Teachers need to stand in unison with their union. They should not be afraid. The manpower to replace them may be out there, but not the expertise. Parents will never tolerate the likes of 10,000 displaced sugar workers teaching their children!
The Coalition, by putting up a “ kamikaze “ stand on derailing its campaign promises to teachers is shooting itself in the foot. Teachers are influential people in their communities—the kind of hate message they could spread in the communities from now to 2020 could put the coalition beyond the point of no return. The president’s talk of searching among the ministries to see where the monies could be found to pay teachers is a sham. The money is there. Last year as a result of the spread on vat, GRA collected some 9 billion more than the previous year. Moreover, a comparable list of spending by the coalition and the PPP on traveling, ceremonies etc, shows the coalition spending billions more per year than the PPP did. The fact that no one from the coalition disputed these figures is indicative of the authenticity of the list. Jagdeo opined that cutting back on these extravagant spending to the level of the PPP would leave enough to cover what GTU is asking for.
The Government’s offer of a one-off payout of 700 million-divide that by 13000,gives you 53,846, after tax that goes to $37,700- that is nothing more than a “raise”. I am reminded of Granger’s emancipation speech at BV where he said, Some people are proud that they don’t have work. They want a raise. They always want a raise. I wonder if the Government’s offer to teachers was an attempt to test and universalize Granger’s “want a raise” perception in his domain. His ideas are jejune!
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I have long argued that PPP leaders will never apologize for any depravity done while that party was in power from 1957... more
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