The General Council of the Guyana Teachers Union has decided that the union will offer a partial cash relief for those striking teachers who will see money being deducted from their salaries for absent days.
At an afternoon press conference today, just after the General Council wrapped up its meeting, GTU President Mark Lyte, assured that the union will offer the relief.
He said the union will be able to offer teachers at least 50% of the money deducted from their salaries and there is enough money in the GTU’s accounts to cover that cost for at least a month.
“Strike relief could be a full compensation or part compensation, based on the amount of money they lose”, the Union President said, adding that a final figure for the strike relief would be based on the number of teachers who take part in the strike action, which started yesterday.
There are over 10,000 teachers in the public education system. The GTU President told reporters that once the number of striking teachers would be over 3000, the union would have to look at partial relief and not full relief.
He also announced today that the Union intends to write to the commercial banks and other credit agencies and major stores, informing them of the strike action and requesting that teachers be allowed some leniency with their financial commitments in terms of credit and other loan facilities.
The GTU is hoping that its move to offer strike relief will reassure teachers of its commitment to them and get more teachers to support the strike action.
The Guyana Teachers Union will attend a conciliation meeting tomorrow, which has been called by the Chief Labour Officer as part of the collective bargaining agreement to deal with the impasse.
However, the union has indicated that it has no faith and no trust in the Labour Department to be an impartial mediator in the process, since the Department and the Chief Labour Officer himself have already been attending meetings between the Union and the Education Ministry and has been trying to get the union to accept the Government’s counterproposal.