GTU President complains of Cyberattacks during union’s virtual meetings

GTU President complains of Cyberattacks during union’s virtual meetings

President of the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), Mark Lyte today condemned a number of cyberattacks on the Union’s digital platforms, telling the nation, the hackers have no place in a normal society. 

In a Facebook Live, Lyte said in recent days, the GTU’s digital platforms have come under a number of cyberattacks, with hackers infiltrating the union’s virtual meetings. 

He said during one of the recent prayer sessions on the zoom platform, pornographic content was shown as teachers and religious leaders met virtually to pray for a resolution to the issues confronting the nation’s teachers.  

“To see the level to which some folks, some folks have gone to desecrate the platform, desecrate the platform with pornographic videos, coming into our live programme, and I never thought that I would see that in my lifetime, as an educator, as a citizen when somebody infiltrates a platform that was meant to have our teachers, and other stakeholders prayerfully come before God on these matters, the salary issues, and to share videos of pornography and as one man puts it, hard core pornography. This is not the Guyana we envisioned,” Lyte said 

The GTU President said in other cases, the hackers infiltrated other virtual meetings that were being held by the GTU, and when pornographic videos were not shown, teachers were subjected to derogatory and racist terms.

 “As a historian, a history trained teacher in this country, it dawn on me that those of us, in the teaching profession are relegated to the slavish terminology, the massa, in the period of slavery viewed the slaves as niggers, and as niggers, the slaves had no right, the slaves had no right, they had no entitlement, they were nobodies, and when we think about those persons, I look very deep into those terminologies,” Lyte said. 

According to the GTU President, since the start of industrial action by teachers on February 5, the teachers have been condemned by those in authority for speaking out, and for demanding better salaries. 

He said despite the impact the strike is having on learners, the Government remains numb to the issues facing teachers and has not shown no willingness to compromise.  

“We have seen the callous behaviour portrayed towards our teachers, and callous in the sense that the Government appears to be numb on the issue. You know if you are taking a surgery and in order to alleviate the pain, they will ensure that you are given certain doses to ensure you don’t feel when you are being operated on. I believe that, and my Executives as well as the teachers across Guyana believe that the Government is behaving in that way as though they have been given some sort of treatment to remain numb, remain callous and heartless on this matter,” Lyte said.

Today marks 49 days since the Union initiated industrial action. The Union and the Ministry of Education last met close to two weeks ago at the Ministry of Labour.

No date has been set for another meeting. 

The union has been pushing for a multi-year agreement spanning 2019 and 2023 while the Government has made it clear that it is only prepared to negotiate from this year moving forward.

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