GTU says no way Government will pay de-bunching monies, demands sit-down

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The Union representing local teachers thinks the time has come for the government to come clean, and say whether or not they can afford to pay the promised de-bunching monies for its members.

“De-Bunching is a sore issue, and I am sure we will never be able to resolve that because when we talking about de-bunching, we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) General Secretary, Coretta McDonald.

Speaking to News Room recently, she added that the Union is convinced that the delayed payment of de-bunching monies is because government is in no position to settle the issue.

The funds were to be paid to teachers as part of an agreement that the GTU had inked with the previous administration in 2011.

Ms. McDonald believes that delay is “because it’s not going to only be for teachers or the teaching fraternity, but for every other sector of workers, they will not have the monies to pay.”

If and when the government agrees to the current proposal of de-bunching funds, it could cost the administration over 400 million dollars which will compensate for the last five years.

“I am saying; we are saying, we know you can’t pay the money and you know that too and what you should be doing as partners and out of having respect for your partners, come sit with us and say look, we cannot afford these kinds of monies, we don’t have the monies to pay,”  explained the Union’s General Secretary.

News Room was also made to understand that the Union was willing to bring the issue to an end by settling for a lump sum payment, even if it was just for one or two years.

Ms. McDonald said no senior government official is saying anything to the Union about the issue other than the same position held by the Education Ministry.

She also said the “sums were reduced” and resubmitted to the Ministry and the Union, only to be told that it was sent to Cabinet “to have Cabinet pronouncement on it. And every time you meet with them is the same chorus you have being sung again to you.”

The Union’s General Secretary is of the view that the Government should be straight and say, “we can’t pay these monies, we don’t have monies to pay let’s sit and talk and let us come up with something else.”

The last time GTU and representatives of the Ministry of Education met to discuss the de-bunching issue was February 2017.

With the de-bunching agreement, teachers stand to benefit from a payout of one percent of all their salaries, whatever the figure was, between the years 2011 to 2016.

For the public schools throughout the country, there are some 13 thousand teachers in the system according to GTU.

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