Yesterday, April 15, was the date set for representatives of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) to resume negotiations with the Task Force Committee established to deliberate over a suitable multi-year salary package for public school teachers. That meeting never came off. Now, a new date of April 30 has been set.
The Guyana Standard has learnt that yesterday’s failure to hold the meeting was not due to a fallout between the parties concerned. Instead, the meeting was mutually postponed to a later date due to the start of a triennial conference being hosted by the GTU at its Woolford Avenue headquarters.
This publication has learnt that the new date for the meeting is April 30, during which time it is expected that some crucial decisions will be made, including efforts to ensure that the clauses within the previous agreement signed between the Education Ministry and the GTU are or will be fulfilled.
The current salary proposal, the basis for the current negotiation, sees the GTU seeking a 25 percent across the increase for teachers. In addition to aiming for a 25 percent increase, the union is also proposing conditions for the re-employment of retired teachers; the need for grants for schools which are often subjected to inadequate stock; and incentive for teachers with additional qualifications and those qualified in areas of physical education and special needs education.
“Some of the things we have fine-tuned them. We still have things like duty-free concessions, continuation of the Whitley Council [leave]…we are proposing adjustment to Whitley Council; we have clothing allowances; we have house lots for teachers still on the cards and we do have other things, like class size issues. The class size for special needs schools, we are requesting a smaller number or in cases where the number cannot be smaller we are recommending a teacher’s aide for the teachers so at all times there will be two persons to the class,” said GTU President Mark Lyte.