Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo disclosed on Thursday that the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) which is fuelling illegal protest action among educators, is far from being the bastion of integrity and accountability. He said too that the union is not in a position to credibly criticize the government for failing to adhere to these principles when its own accounts have been in disarray for over three decades.

During a press conference at the Office of the President, the Guyanese leader said GTU has not undergone a comprehensive audit of its financial accounts since 1989, spanning nearly 35 years.

“The last audited statement that they submitted to the Auditor General was 1989,” remarked Dr. Jagdeo.

With billions of dollars collected in dues from its membership over the years, the GTU’s financial transparency has come under intense scrutiny. “We don’t know how they spent the money they received as deductions from teachers’ salaries which government has facilitated,” Dr. Jagdeo lamented, raising serious questions about accountability and fiscal responsibility within the union.

Furthermore, Dr. Jagdeo highlighted the union’s failure to submit financial statements since 2004, jeopardizing its status as an active trade union under the Trade Union Act. “So 20 years now they have failed to submit even financial statements, forget the audited accounts,” he stated, suggesting potential consequences for the GTU’s continued non-compliance with regulatory requirements.

The Vice President expressed disbelief at the lack of repercussions faced by the GTU, attributing it to what he described as a “cabal” that controls the union’s operations. “Anywhere else in the world, they would have already been struck off,” Dr. Jagdeo asserted, pointing out the apparent absence of public outcry over the union’s financial mismanagement.

Despite the alarming revelation regarding the Guyana Teachers Union’s unaudited accounts dating back to 1989, it is noteworthy that successive governments, including the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) administration in power from 1992 to 2015, failed to address this longstanding issue. Additionally, during the tenure of the coalition opposition government from 2015-2020, a probe was initiated in 2018 following concerns raised by a teacher, yet no action was taken to audit the accounts.

This lack of action from both major political parties raises questions about accountability and responsibility regarding oversight of public institutions.


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