Moves to impose a chairman to head the arbitration panel to negotiate a salary increase for public school teachers who is not endorsed by both the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers Union [GTU] could see the resumption of strike action in a matter of days.

This is according to GTU President, Mr. Mark Lyte, who said that during a meeting today to which the union was invited to by the Labour Department of the Ministry of Social Protection, a chairman in the person of Professor Leyland Lucas was presented.

Professor Lucas, according to Lyte, is a remigrant who currently holds a position at the University of Guyana. “We did not endorse this move, and we certainly will not be accepting them imposing this person on us,” Lyte said a short while ago.

According to Lyte, the union attended the meeting at the Brickdam, Georgetown Labour Department “for the sole purpose of naming our nominee for the Arbitration Tribunal.” But, according to the GTU President, amidst the meeting Minister with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott, decided to present Lucas as the Minister’s appointee to chair the arbitration panel.

The union, Lyte said, objected to this “high-handed” move adding that “it was premature to be doing that at this point in time. As a matter of fact the union highlighted that if this same Minister was proactive a year and a half ago, we would not have been in the position that we are in now.”

It has therefore been concluded by the union, Lyte said that “the process is further compromised more so by the Minister’s attempt to bully the GTU into accepting what is by no means a process that will be fair and transparent and one that will see our members receiving an aware that is so due.”

Moreover, Lyte in a missive to the union’s membership said “Colleagues, again attempts are been made to stifle and frustrate us in order to stymie the process. Let me continue to urge and remind us that together we shall Triumph and together we shall Over-come. Let us hold fast and continue to be RESOLUTE.”

He continued, “To our parents, we thank you for your  support during the past weeks and wish to remind you that our win is also your  win and  that we do look forward for your continued support as we tarry on this road where equal rights and justice seems to be a thing of the past.”

According to Lyte, failure to have a democratic process to nominate the members of the arbitration panel will in essence force the union to mobilize its membership to resume strike action within seven days.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here