Norton calls on Government to meet with GTU to urgently end impasse with striking teachers

Norton calls on Government to meet with GTU to urgently end impasse with striking teachers

Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton has issued a call on the Government to listen to the concerns of striking teachers and make moves to address those concerns. He said the nation’s children will suffer the most, as a result of the ongoing impasse between the Government and the nation’s teachers.

Teachers across the country are in their fourth week of strike action, leaving many classrooms empty and students forced to stay at home.

In a statement today, the Opposition Leader said the current strike action appears as if it will continue, as long as the Government continues to show no interest in meeting with the Guyana Teachers’ Union.

“The government may be thinking that they don’t want to show weakness and must hold out against all comers but let me be clear – this is not a time for one upmanship… Our teachers are suffering, our children are suffering, the vendors who work around the schools are suffering, the transportation workers who transport our students and teachers are suffering, every parent who has a child is suffering, all our people are suffering because this government considers itself above the people and refuses to understand that they are there to serve rather than to dictate and we condemn this intransigence by the government in the harshest terms possible,”  the Opposition Leader said.

Norton reminded that when it was in Government, the APNU/AFC was faced with similar strike action by teachers, and it acceded to the demands of the teachers.

He said that move was not weakness or merely a political maneuver, but a recognition of the invaluable contribution of educators to the development of society.

“There is no doubt that monies are available to pay teachers and all public servants and the suggestion that the cost of raising salaries for teachers cannot be considered is untenable. Our children should not be held hostage to political brinkmanship. The longer this strike persists, the greater the harm inflicted upon the most vulnerable members of our society,” the Opposition Leader said. 

The Opposition leader said that the government should note that by its actions, it is creating the conditions for all public servants to consider whether they too should come out on the picket line, because as the cost-of-living skyrockets, wages remain the same.

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