Earlier this year, the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) decided to pull out from salary negotiations with the Ministry of Education due to a previous agreement not being fully honoured.
GTU President Mark Lyte had revealed that although the government had delivered on some aspects of the agreement which came to an end last year, those that were left outstanding were of grave concern to the union.
These outstanding aspects, he said, include the non-payment of an agreed upon $10,000 for special education teachers; failure to activate the monthly debunching scale for teachers; and failure to pay uniform allowances which is compounded by the failure to rectify concerns regarding the calculation of a two percent increase on teachers’ salaries which was made payable earlier this year.
However, according to a circular issued by the Ministry of Education’s Permanent Secretary Adele Clarke, there seems to be a change in the tide which is likely to see teachers receiving their just desserts.
According to the circular, teachers will begin receiving their clothing allowance on their September 2019 salary. The payout will represent clothing allowing for the period 2016 to 2019. However, only those teachers currently in the system will receive this payout, according to Lyte, who explained that it is expected that the Ministry will put another mechanism in place for teachers who are presently out of the system.
Lyte has regarded this move as a step in the right direction. He further revealed that word out of the Education Ministry is that the Permanent Secretary is awaiting advice from the Ministry of Finance to commence the scaled monthly debunching payout, which should have commenced since January 2019. This is in keeping with the expired agreement which was inked in October of last year. Based on the agreement, teachers were paid a one-off $350M for debunching monies owed for the period 2011 to 2018.
The union, Lyte said, is hopeful that outstanding areas, including the allowance for special education teachers, will be honoured soon.
Given the recent development, Lyte noted that it is expected that talks for a new salary package for teachers could continue in the new school term.