Teachers Union, Gov’t fail to agree on Arbitration Panel

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The increase in teachers’ salaries is faced with yet another setback as the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and the Education Ministry have failed to agree on arbitrators to settle the matter.

The parties Friday held their second meeting at the Ministry of Social Protection’s Department of Labour.

General Secretary of the Union Coretta McDonald described the meeting as a “disappointment.”

The Ministry proposed Dereck Cummings, Permanent Secretary at the Public Telecommunications Ministry and Glendon Harris, Human Resources Manager at the Guyana Revenue Authority.

However, the Union is contending that the arbitrators should not be employed by the Government since this undermines the process.

“We said that from the inception that we should seek as far as possible not to have persons who are serving within the sector to be presented as Chairperson (of the arbitration panel) because if you are serving the administration then you will not be able to stand free and fair,” she explained.

President of the GTU, Mark Lyte in an interview with the press following the meeting said “the ministry preferred to have a present functionary to be chairperson.”

The Union, on the other hand, proposed Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rashleigh Jackson, Former Government Minister, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aubrey Armstrong.

However, the names were rejected by the Ministry without any reason.

The two parties were able to agree on additional terms of reference for the arbitration panel.

The Government and the Union decided to go to arbitration on September 6th after a two week strike action by teachers which left several schools closed during the first school term.

A date has not been set for future engagements with the Labour Department.

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