Teachers resume duty after 9 days of strike

first_imgA large number of teachers turned up to work on Friday, after staying four days away from their classrooms and a total of nine days from duty due to a salary dispute between the Education Ministry and the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU).Although many students were not present in the schools this newspaper visited, those who were there were being taught and supervised.A few teachers posted statuses on social media on Friday, expressing their joy to be back in school to do the jobs they love.Some students, also turned out to school for the first time for the semester on Friday.President of the Guyana Teachers’ Union, Mark Lyte, on Thursday called off the nationwide strike wherein about 4000 teachers were off duty. He assured his cheering teachers that no deductions will be made to their salaries, and there will be no loss of seniority. The decision to call off the strike came after an agreementStudents gathered outside the St John’s College on Waterloo Street, Georgetownwas arrived at for the Education Ministry and the GTU to go to arbitration.Thousands of children across the country were affected, although the Education Ministry would have drafted a contingency plan wherein about 400 substitute teachers were deployed.These substitutes included volunteers, trainees and retired teachers.Students were being sent home in some cases, while some were left with no option other than to return home due to school gates and doors being closed.The arbitration committee will be agreed upon by the two bodies on Tuesday, when they meet to discuss the way forward.Teachers descended to strike and protest action after several failed talks with the Education Ministry in regard to wage increase.A 40 per cent salary increase for public school teachers was proposed for the year 2016. Over time, the percentage would be increased for all categories of represented teachers.For the year 2017, the Union was hoping to have bargained for a 45 per cent increase, which would then increase to 50 per cent for the remainder of the years indicated in the agreement (2018-2020). They recently changed their demands and said they were willing to accept a ‘substantial’ payout from the Government even after the GTU rejected Government’s request for teachers to agree to a debunching payoff of $200 million for 2018/19.last_img read more