September 28, 2016

Wages increase still on the front burner for GTU – McDonald

– hopes for positive feedback from Education Ministry

The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) continues to be optimistic that the Education Ministry will dedicate renewed energy towards addressing their issues, primarily salary increases.

GTU General Secretary Coretta McDonald

GTU General Secretary Coretta McDonald

With Local Government Elections now concluded, GTU is set on the path of ensuring the ministry does “all in its powers” to grant the much needed increase.
This is according to GTU’s General Secretary Coretta McDonald, who told Guyana Times during an interview that the union will continue to propose the 40 per cent salary increase for its teachers.
She said the union is of the opinion that a hindrance to the salary increases was due to the LGE but with this over, the ministry should be able to make the decision.
The union has been awaiting word from the ministry over the past few months but so far this has postponed due to unidentified circumstances.
In January, the matter was put on hold by the ministry due to the reading of this year’s national Budget. Still, after two months, they have not been able to get a confirmation on the proposal.
However, GTU remains confident this matter will be looked into and its teachers across the country will be benefactors of the increase.
Listed in its memorandum of agreement entered with the Ministry of Education concerning the terms and conditions of teachers’ employment, the union has proposed for the years 2016-20 a series of increases.
This it says is being proposed with the aim of improving the financial stability of its teachers, who are the most significant figures within society.
The 40 per cent salary increase for public school teachers is proposed for 2016. Over time, the per cent will be increased for all categories of its teachers.
For 2017, the union is hoping to bargain for a 45 per cent increase, which will then increase to 50 per cent for the remainder of the years indicated in the agreement (2018-20).
The terms of the salary increases has come under intense criticisms over the past few months from concerned persons who deemed the proposal as absurd.
Even though it was agreed that teachers do have a vital role to play and should be well taken care of for their service, there are still some major issues in the percentage that the union has come up with.
Persons argued that if a teacher’s salary is currently $100,000 monthly, given that the proposal is accepted by the ministry, these teachers would be taking home $140,000 in 2016.
This would eventually rise over time in accordance with the years, and leave the teachers with a whooping salary that persons in government circle believe is way too unreasonable.

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