Striking teachers to return to classrooms by Wednesday as Gov’t, Union resume talks


Through a mediation process ordered by High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon, the Government and the Guyana Teachers’ Union on Monday afternoon came to a mutual agreement for striking teachers to return to their classrooms on or before Wednesday, March 06.

This means that the nationwide industrial strike which commenced on February 05, 2024 and entered its fifth week on Monday has been called off.

In the agreement signed by both parties, it was noted that in addition to teachers returning to the classrooms, the government [Ministry of Education] and the union will meet for discussions on all matters within 48 hours.

“Discussions shall proceed within 48 hours of resumption of work and shall be in relation to those matters which either party considers relevant for discussion between the union and the Government, which includes financial matters,” the document states.

The discussions are to take place at the Ministry of Education, Brickdam office and shall continue for “a reasonable period of time”, the document added.

Senior Counsel Edward Luckhoo and Robin Stoby served as mediators in the process that commenced last Friday and after two meetings, the agreement was reached.

“The Government of Guyana represents that it continues to assure and reiterate its position that it will continue to act in good faith and in accordance with the laws of Guyana in relation to all matters under discussions,” the document noted.

“The Guyana Teachers’ Union represents that it has always engaged the Government and will continue to negotiate in good faith for the welfare of the teachers,” it added.

Speaking to members of the media outside the courtroom, attorney Darren Wade said the union remains “optimistic” that the government has committed through the agreement to discuss financial issues affecting teachers.

“We have finally been able to have an agreement with the government after all these years to come to the table to discuss our important, pertinent financial matters.

‘The government cannot back out of this agreement. It is a binded agreement,” Wade said.

Meanwhile, attorney Darshan Ramdhani, KC, who is representing the State, said the deal was brokered at a “critical” time.

“We are in a critical time at school…There are SBAs going on and I do believe that there is even Common Entrance issues to be sorted out.

“I believe good sense has prevail in this process…The government has been reiterating its position to engagement with the union.

“The government has been engaging with the union and so we are very pleased that they are returning to the table and that these discussions, meaningful ones for the teachers of this country and the students…that this will take on a more considerately approach,” Ramdhani said.

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