The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) has written the country’s Chief Labour Officer, Dhaneshwar Deonarine requesting that the process of conciliation be initiated as the Government continues to ignore the union’s demands for negotiations to commence on the multi-year proposal, which was submitted to the Ministry of Education since 2020.
In a letter to the Chief Labour Officer, GTU’s General Secretary, Corretta McDonald said the request is in keeping with a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers’ Union in April 1990 to facilitate the settlement of disputes.
“…the Guyana Teachers’ Union wishes to activate stage 3 of the Conciliation process based on unsatisfactory settlement on the level of the Ministry of Education,” a section of the letter read.
The letter was copied to the Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton, the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand; the Chief Education Officer, Saddam Hussain; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Shannielle Hoosein-Outar.
In a separate letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education on September 21, McDonald expressed disappointment that more than three years after the multi-year proposal was submitted to the Government through the Ministry of Education there has been no movement on the matter.
“…to date, we are still awaiting the counter proposal,” McDonald told the Permanent Secretary.
McDonald said given the Government’s position, the Union has initiated the process of conciliation, and now “awaits an amicable settlement emanating from the Ministry of Labour.”
News Source understands that the Ministry of Labour has 14 days to bring the two sides together to initiate the process of conciliation. However, if there is no resolution, then the process would move to arbitration.
The multi-year proposal addresses 13 critical areas, including salaries, gratuity, duty free concession, hinterland benefits and grants.
The Union is proposing an across-the-board increase in salaries of 25% for 2019, and 20% for every other year – 2020 to 2023.
Over the last two weeks, teachers have been reporting sick in large batches as a form of protest.
Earlier this month, President Irfaan Ali said he would engage in direct consultation with the teachers. The GTU has rejected any plan to boycott the union from negotiations.