President of the Guyana Teacher’s Union, Mark Lyte said that a nationwide strike is possible as early as next week. He made this comment while on the picket line in front of the Teaching Service Commission’s office on Brickdam in Georgetown.
“We will move to the next level” he said while stressing that the Union has been protesting for just about six weeks and “teachers will be asked to remain away from school for some time.”
Once the industrial action takes effect it is likely that students at the Nursery, Primary, Secondary and at some Tertiary level institutions can be affected by teachers not being present in the classrooms.
G.T.U is continuing its call for members of the Teaching Service Commission (T.S.C) headed by Leila Ramson, to be replaced because of how senior teachers are being promoted by the body.
According to Lyte the Union “want a new Commission to treat with the concerns of our teachers” since he is of the opinion that the current promotion process by that constitutional body is flawed and full of discrepancies. He feels the time has come for the Commission to have a fair system in place in the promotion process of teachers.
Two weeks ago, members of the Union met with Minister of State Joseph Harmon to express their concerns.
“We can’t have our teachers being dissatisfied for so long…we would have expected that by now the administration would have moved on this matter” Lyte said.
While the new government has attempted to reach out to GTU the Union’s President says their concerns have not been addressed.
He does not believe the administration is moving fast enough to settle the matter involving the concerns of the nation’s teachers, “while you’re saying on one hand you have the teachers interest at heart we’re not seeing that practically demonstrated” he added.
After the GTU and TSC failed to agree on a list of promotions for teachers, the Union filed an injunction last year blocking the Commission from approving promotions.