Over three hundred teachers in the mining town of Linden turned out at the LICHAS building at Mackenzie today to show their full support of the move by the Guyana Teachers Union to begin a nationwide strike action from next week.
GTU President Mark Lyte and a team from the Union traveled to the community today as they continue their national outreach to brief teachers on the union’s position with regard to the negotiations with government for increased salaries and its decision to call the strike.
Mr. Lyte told News Source that the Linden teachers are fully supportive of the strike action and the efforts of their union.
On the issue of the GTU being unable to provide teachers with financial support during the strike, Lyte said the teachers appear willing to make the sacrifice.
The salary for teachers will likely be slashed for the days that they will be absent from work.
In the past, the union was responsible for providing cash relief to cushion the effect of the reduced salaries during strike time, however, the GTU has indicated that it is in no position to offer such relief.
The Teachers Union is not budging from its position for the government to offer an acceptable salary package . While the union wants to see a 40% increase in the salary for teachers, it has indicated that a proper and acceptable offer would avert the strike action.
The Government has set aside $700 million to increase the salaries for teachers this year, and a further $200 million to deal with debunching. However, the GTU has said those figures would only see teachers earning an additional $5000 on their salaries.
President David Granger told reporters yesterday that the Government does not want a confrontation with teachers and he is hopeful that the teachers understand the financial constraints facing the government at this time.
The teachers do not appear too interested in that type of reasoning.