GTU sees Government’s request for more time to respond to Court case as delaying tactic

GTU sees Government’s request for more time to respond to Court case as delaying tactic

General Secretary of the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), Coretta McDonald believes the application filed by the Government seeking an extension of time to respond to union’s Court case over the strike by teachers, is an effort to delay the matter before the Court, which challenges the Government’s decision to cut the salaries of striking teachers.

The Attorney General has requested more time from the Court to respond to the case.

“We are not going to allow that to deter us, because our teachers are resilient and they are resolved that this issue must be resolved by sitting at the table,” McDonald told News Source as she stood on the picket line for a 13th day. 

Across the country, teachers are demanding that the Government engages the Guyana Teachers’ Union in Collective Bargaining, which is a move that the teachers believe would see them receiving an across-the-board salary increase. 

In a multi-year proposal submitted more than three years, ago, the Union asked that teachers received a 25% increase in the salary for 2019, and a 20% increase every year from 2020 to 2023. 

But McDonald said the Government has shown little regard for teachers or the proposal submitted by the union. 

“Today is the 13th day, and teachers are still out here all across this country, because the government, they continue to show blatant disregard for our proposal and for coming to the table,” the trade unionist said. 

She said while the Government has reported that “large” number of teachers have returned to the classroom, the reality is that at many schools across the country, classes remain empty as both teachers and students continue stay away from school as the strike continues for another week. 

“Across the country, school has not been like school, it is not business as usual. Many of the schools if you travel in Georgetown, you would see that, except for Queen’s College, and the Bishops’ High and St Rose’s and maybe part of St Joseph, the other schools have been closed. You may have one or three teachers in the school but the students and the pupils, they are not at school, the parents are keeping their children at home, and for those children who are going into school, they are all cramped into one or two classrooms, so no actual teaching is taking place. So, that must impact the education sector,” the GTU General Secretary explained. 

The GTU said while ignoring the impact the strike continues to have on the Education Sector, the Government appears to be engaged in a wait game, hoping that the strike action will eventually wind down.

But the GTU has said teachers across the country remain resolute, and will continue to make their demands heard.

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