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GTU has new proposal to end strike action – Kaieteur News

– prepared to meet with Govt during August break to hammer out pay issues – Mc Donald

Kaieteur News – The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) is prepared to meet with the Government through the August holiday period to hammer out teachers pay issues.

General Secretary of the GTU, Coretta Mc Donald

Speaking to Kaieteur News on Thursday, General Secretary of the GTU, Coretta Mc Donald explained that while the pay issues remain top of the agenda, the Union will soon be meeting with Ministry officials to figure out the terms of resumption.

She noted that “The GTU/Ministry of Labour is exchanging documents on the terms of resumption for teachers to return to the classroom. We are also in discussion with the teachers on strike to ensure that teachers are present in their respective school before schools go on its August break.”

The GTU General Secretary said that the union is also working its new proposal which will be presented to the Ministry of Education after the terms of resumption are agreed upon. “So we have the new proposal but it will only be presented the Ministry of Education after we agree on the terms of resumption.” Mc Donald explained. She noted that in the meantime she said that the impact of the strike has been felt significantly across the country.

“In terms of participation in the strike we saw like an 80 percent of teachers in Region Four who did not work, 80 percent in Region 10, Regions Two, Three, Five and Six were below the 50 percent mark because as you know these are the regions that are influenced more politically… but we saw an overall significant participation,” she said.

Meanwhile, this newspaper understands that the GTU will be meeting with the Ministry of Education as early as today. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, President Irfaan Ali said that the government is moving closer to reaching an initial agreement with the GTU on conditions that would end the ongoing strike by some teachers. Ali noted that there have been numerous conversations relating to the resumption of work and the concerns raised by teachers. “And so,” President Ali explained, “…From the most recent feedback I have received there seems to be some movement in relation to getting to an initial agreement on terms that would see the situation resumed to some amount of normalcy.”

The Head -Of-State stressed that the government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and needs of teachers, students and parents. As part of its continuous developmental ambitions, the government is heavily investing in the education sector to execute numerous policies and programmes.

Additionally, the president stated that students will have greater access to educational opportunities. “We are committed to ensuring that they have fair treatment. We are committed to ensuring that their welfare and lives in totality improve as our country continues to improve,” he vowed.

He continued, “And our priorities [are] to ensure that our children will not suffer or the teachers. And that is why we are investing in giving our teachers the best infrastructural conditions to work in, supporting their career development and supporting their personal aspirations for education and becoming trained.”

As the world continues to transform digitally, the government is looking to establish its first digital school shortly in the country.

President Ali pointed out, “Continuous learning will be heavily influenced by technology. We said that we want to have the most skilled population. The most skilled population must allow every citizen, those who dropped out of school, and those who didn’t have the opportunity to go to school to be in an environment of learning…”  The teachers strike started on February 5 over a proposal for an increase in wages and salaries.

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