The Guyana Trades Union is lashing out at Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Keith Scott, over his decision to appoint a Chairman for the Arbitration process between the Guyana Teachers Union and the Ministry of Education.
In a statement this afternoon, the umbrella trade union body said Minister Scott has no legal authority to make such an appointment in a case of voluntary arbitration.
The GTU and the Education Ministry agreed to go to arbitration three weeks ago, bringing an end to the strike by teachers. The two sides during their first meeting after agreeing to arbitration could not reach agreement on a Chairperson for the arbitration panel.
Yesterday, the Minister responsible for labour, Keith Scott announced that he had made an appointment.
But today, the GTUC said he could only have made such an appointment if the arbitration process was compulsory.
Further, the union stated today that under the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding between the GTU and the Education Ministry, the Labour Department would be invited to nominate a Chairperson and not make an appointment.
“Minister Keith Scott continues to pose embarrassment to this nation and threaten the realising of a stable industrial relations environment. His statement on Tuesday, 25th September 2018 that University of Guyana lecturer, Dr. Leyland Lucas, has been appointed Chairman of the Arbitration Panel into the grievances between the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and Ministry of Education (MoE) has no basis in the Laws of Guyana”, the GTUC said.
The Guyana Teachers Union was absent from today’s planned meeting with the Education Ministry and the Labour Department.
Yesterday, Union officials expressed concern about the move by Minister Scott, saying that it appeared that he was forcing a Chairman on the two negotiating sides, when all he could do is offer a nomination.