President Granger to Meet with Teachers Union

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – President David Granger will meet with members of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) on Monday after union officials walked out of a meeting with authorities on Thursday, according to a joint statement issued here on Friday.

The statement followed talks between the GTU and Minister of State Joseph “to discuss the union’s concerns about the lack of progress with regard to negotiations of salary increases and other non-salary benefits for its members”.

According to the joint statement, the GTU had alluded to a meeting held with the Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, where the union’s concern regarding the status of salary increases for teachers that had been proposed since December 2015 “was not being seriously addressed”.

The statement noted that the “pronouncements by the Hon. Minister of Education at the meeting were at variance with the union’s understanding of the Government’s approach to the matter”.

Following the walkout on Thursday, a government statement quoted Henry as having “informed the GTU representatives that the Government at this time can only offer wage increases in keeping with those offered to public servants. Teachers, being public servants, therefore, will also benefit from the proposed wage increases”.

But the joint statement Friday, noted that Harmon in response referred to a statement made earlier this month indicating that increased salaries for teachers were being considered by the government in the form of a Multi-Year Proposal submitted by the GTU.

“The Honourable Minister of State further indicated that the meeting with the Minister of Education held on October 26, 2017 was never intended to be the final position of the Administration but rather an interim arrangement.

“The Honourable Minister also indicated that His Excellency the President was very concerned about the reports regarding the outcome of the meeting between the Union and the Ministry of Education and had signalled his willingness to meet with the Union on Monday October 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. to discuss all matters of concern to the Union,” the joint statement added.

It said that the union has since indicated its acceptance Granger’s offer and “reiterated that it was committed to the process of collective bargaining and that it would bring these developments to the attention of its members”. – CMC

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