Teachers’ Union, Labour Ministry to reconvene talks on June 10


The countrywide strike by some teachers has entered day 56 and talks between the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) and the Labour Ministry are scheduled to reconvene on Monday, June 10.

“We are working on a way forward.

“…We have reached out because we believe that this situation must not go on forever – that through dialogue mature, responsible people can mend the differences,” GTU President Mark Lyte said during a live broadcast on Tuesday.

Until then, Lyte said the strike continues.

“Until the favourable terms of resumption are inked, the strike continues.@

Noting that students across the country continue to be affected, Lyte reiterated that there could be no way forward on the process until the terms of resumption are “satisfactory” to the union.

“My concern as leader of the Teachers’ Union is that we are unable to survive on the package that we currently have,” he said.

Lyte said the union and the government were unable to arrive at terms of resumption that would be “fair” to educators during their previous engagements.

“The union won’t compromise further. Our position remains the same.

“We will continue to have our voices raised,” Lyte said.

According to Lyte, members of the union will engage in further discussions on Tuesday afternoon during which “serious” decisions will be made.

An initial five-week strike began on February 5, with teachers demanding higher salary increases and duty-free concessions, among other benefits.

After a court-mediated process in March, talks between the Education Ministry and GTU resumed.

However, discussions were halted when the Education Ministry indicated that there was no fiscal space to cater for increases for the period 2019 -2023.

On April 19, a court ruling by Judge Sandil Kissoon stated that teachers’ salaries should not be reduced because of their involvement in the previous five-week strike organised by the GTU.

The government has moved to appeal the ruling.

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