Public school teachers last month started to receive retroactive payment agreed to between their union, the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), and the Ministry of Education as part of a three-year salary package inked in October last year.
This development has been confirmed by President of the union, Mr. Mark Lyte, who in an invited comment said, “They [Government] have started to pay out the debunching lump sum and we are confident that this year they [teachers] will receive their retroactive interim difference for 2016 and 2017.”
Additionally, Lyte said that the union is pleased that government has also started to make available duty free concessions on vehicles to heads of departments, namely senior master and mistresses. “That is another plus in spite of the hard challenges we have had during the past year,” said the GTU President as he alluded to the struggles the union and its membership were forced to endure ahead of realising eventual fruitful outcomes.
But, according to Lyte, the union will continue to press for even more salary and non-salary benefits for its membership this year. He, moreover, said, “It is hoped that our members will continue to rally around us as they did in 2018 and because of that [rallying], we believe that we will continue to see fruitful results.”
Even as he expressed confidence that the union will be able to negotiate for a brighter 2019 for its membership, Lyte said that the union is gearing to submit a new multi-year salary proposal since the proposal inked last year only catered for the period 2016 to 2018.
While the union had made plans to present a new proposal for the consideration of the Education Ministry last month, Lyte said that the union at its general council meeting of December 18, 2018 decided to defer submitting the document until after consulting with its membership.
“Our executives will be discussing this document with our members on the ground and once they are comfortable with what has been proposed, we will be moving to submit it to the Ministry,” said Lyte.
He added, “With all the talk about oil money and the recent developments in parliament we figure that parties will be willing to broker a favourable deal…because a lot of it hinges on the agreements that they are going to be making with the working class people.”