Less than two hours ago, President David Granger told the media that efforts are afoot to accumulate excess or available funds from other ministries to satisfy the demands of teachers who are currently on strike for better salary.
The President said “As we speak, the Ministry of Social Protection, which has responsibility for labour and industrial relations, is in touch with the Ministry of Finance to see whether additional funds could be found from other Heads of Government expenditure in order to move closer to the goal of providing sufficient funds to the teachers.”
The Head of State said that the immediate focus is to arrive at an agreement that would see the teachers calling off the strike.
He said that while the Ministry of Education has a contingency plan for retired teachers and those who are in training school to hold the fort, this mechanism is not ideal.
Granger said, “The resort to retired teachers and student teachers is undesirable…but it is the only way we can ensure that our students receive continuous education…so it is a temporary measure, if you want to call it a ‘Band-Aid’ and it is not meant to last beyond the present crisis.”
The President continued, “Strike is an extreme measure that should only be last resort… there should be meditation and if mediation fails, we go to arbitration.”