With no move to rescind the appointment of Professor Leyland Lucas as Chairman of the Arbitration Panel to negotiate a salary package for public school teachers, the Guyana Teachers Union is making preparation to retaliate. Last week the union had given the Ministry of Social Protection an ultimatum to allow the Ministry of Education and the GTU to agree on a chairperson or see teachers resume strike action within seven days.
Guyana Standard understands that the officials of the GTU have already started to mobilise its members towards strike action. Word reaching this publication earlier today is that executive members of the union were meeting with its membership in Region 10.
During recent strike action, Region 10 teachers were easily the largest protesting contingent against government’s failure to offer teachers a 40 percent across the board increase.
But despite the union’s move to mobilise teachers, this publication has learnt that teachers are divided on the way forward.
However, this publication was told that the verdict will be heard tomorrow. GTU President, Mark Lyte, said that at a press conference at the Woolford Avenue, Brickdam, Georgetown
Last week the GTU President said that without consultation the Ministry of Social Protection through Minister within the Ministry, Keith Scott, sought to force upon the GTU/Education Ministry meeting to accept Professor Lucas as chairman. The meeting was held so that the two sides could nominate their respective member.
But instead Professor Lucas was named by the Minister to head the panel. 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.
The union, Lyte related, 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.”