Teachers to get interim salary increase of 6-8%
The Government has agreed to pay teachers an interim salary increase ranging from six to eight percent, retroactive to January 1, 2017.
This was as a result of a meeting between the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) and President David Granger and Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry on Monday, October 30, 2017. The meeting also led to the Union calling off a strike action planned for Thursday (November 02, 2017) and Friday (November 03, 2017).
To address the teachers’ concerns on a long-term basis, the two sides have agreed to form a high-level Task Force which will look at the Union’s proposal and other concerns of teachers. Speaking to media operatives following the meeting at State House, GTU President Mark Lyte disclosed that the first meeting of the Task Force is set for Wednesday, November 01, 2017 after which a decision will be made on the timeline for the work of the committee.
The GTU President said the Task Force will comprise of officials from the Union along with the Ministries of the Presidency, Public Service, Finance, Communities and Education.
According to the Ministry of the Presidency, the Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry has consented to take the issue of the composition of the Task Force to Cabinet tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31, 2017. It also added that the Task Force will also take account of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into the Education Sector in Guyana and take a holistic view on the improvement of the education sector.
Though the strike action has been called off, the Union felt the position taken was necessary to have their concerns heard. “We believe that the action taken was one that was needed because it seems as though no one was really paying attention to the interest of the teachers other than talk in public forum (about) teachers’ interest, but we feel coming out of today, the president has been made of several things that were decided at different forum that in our view never went to the level that we thought it would have been placed,” Lyte pointed out.
One of the major issues affecting teachers across the country is the fact that they have not received a salary increase since 2015—an issue which led to the Union walking out of a meeting with the Education Minister last week, after she informed the Union that teachers will be getting the same increase as other public servants.