GTU Executives looking for a face-saving way to end political strike

Dear Editor,
The Guyana Teachers’ Union Executive officers, Union President Lyte and General Secretary Mc Donald, are looking for a face-saving way to end the political strike they called since 5 February 2024 in the name of the teachers’ union, GTU, after disrupting the greater part of the school year by neglecting their professional commitment to teach the nation’s children.
Teachers were used for political purposes, and the Executives of the Union are looking for a way out, since the school year is coming to an end. They are hoping to get back to school days before the end of the school year, so that they can be paid for the school holidays.
They disrupted the collective bargaining process with unreasonable demands. The process was there for negotiation, conciliation/mediation and arbitration without disrupting the teaching service.
The Ministry should end this disruptive school year now and proceed to seek a resumption of work on the first day of the new school year in September 2024. That would mean no pay for those teachers on strike until the new school year, and for those who return to the classroom.
They are conscious of the principle of “no work no pay” but were misled by Justice Sandil Kissoon’s ruling that their political strike was justified and that teachers should be paid for strike days, and for the Ministry of Education to continue deduction of union dues for the Union. This was and is a misjudgment, and is without reference to any applicable law and justified principle.
There is no such law in Guyana. It is a political decision, maybe to gain popularity through a wrong decision, and stating that teachers were given “stone” when they asked for bread, misapplying biblical reference and ignoring the applicable biblical reference, “If you do not work, you should not eat.”

Joshua Singh