The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) recently stated that teachers were only paid part of their debunching monies in December and as such, called on the relevant authorities to address the issue.
This was confirmed by President of the GTU, Mark Lyte during an interview on Thursday.
The President informed that teachers received a payment in December 2018, which was the eight per cent on the old 2017 salary. Another interim payment, he said, was made for 2016 and 2017 at one time which was 10 and eight per cent and then an eight and a six per cent.
Lyte explained, “Ten and eight (per cent) for 2016 and eight and six (per cent) for
2017, so now with the new arrangement that we had, in terms of the increase, we agreed that 2016 would get a 12 per cent and a 10 per cent so it means that those persons who had already received an interim would get two per cent more. As a result of that two per cent it means that 2016 two per cent would trigger an increase of two per cent for 2017 and also another two per cent for 2018, so that amount was to be paid in January”.
Although that payout was expected, teachers were surprised when they checked their accounts to find that those amounts were not added.
“When we received the increase in January it was not correctly calculated,” the GTU head said. As a result of the red flag, he noted that the Union has already engaged the Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, who is reportedly in the process of setting up a meeting with the Finance Ministry to have those issued thrashed out.
It was only on October 24, 2018, that the GTU signed an agreement with the Education Ministry to accept a 12 per cent increase in salaries for 2016 and an eight per cent increase for 2018.
According to the agreement seen by Guyana Times for the year 2016, teachers who earn below $100,000 per month will benefit from a 12 per cent increase while teachers who earn $100,000 and over monthly will gain an eight per cent increase.
For the year 2017, teachers who earn below $100,000 per month will get an eight per cent increase and those who earn above this amount will receive a six per cent increase.
Meanwhile, for 2018, there will be an across the board eight per cent increase for all teachers.
25% increase in salaries
The teachers’ Union has not been wasting a moment of time and has, in fact, already submitted a salary proposal of a 25 per cent increase for public school teachers for 2019.
Lyte said that in this new proposal, the Union requested that some of the already existing policies be maintained such as Whitley Council for three years, instead of four, and a few others.
This proposal also requests that grants be given to schools instead of having materials supplied as complaints have been flagged in the past of sub-standard materials and cleaning supplies. “We believe that like in some regions where schools are given a grant to purchase what they need, other schools can have that as well,” he said.
In addition to this, the President of the Union disclosed that the Union also requested the maintenance of duty-free concessions in the existing categories.
Moreover the new proposal seeks to extend gratuity for persons leaving the profession before the age of 50 to 55, while the issue of class size for special needs schools was highlighted.
Lyte explained that, “Class size was agreed on in the last agreement that will see a reduction in class size so we want that to be maintained and in addition to that I don’t think that we spent enough time talking about the special needs school and how those class sizes should be different so we are stressing special needs school in terms of its class size”.
Meanwhile, in relation to other schools, he said he is cognisant of the fact that some schools are overpopulated so they are bearing with the Ministry to have that sorted out.