Conciliation talks set for teacher pay

Stabroek News
December 11, 2002

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The Guyana Teachersí Union (GTU) and the Ministry of Education are due to meet tomorrow for conciliation talks over their wage dispute.

The talks will be held under the auspices of the Chief Labour Officer Mohamed Akeel. The GTU has signalled that it will accept no less than a 10% increase in salaries for teachers in the lower scales and that all increases should be paid by December 31.

To deal with the salary issue, the General Council of the GTU held an emergency meeting on Monday.

A GTU release said that 24 branches were represented and they unanimously agreed that all teachers earning below the minimum wage must receive the same salaries; and that the GTU accept no less than a 10% increase in salaries for all other categories of teachers. The meeting also agreed that the executive of the union should take any action necessary to enforce its demands.

Talks on salary increases for teachers broke down in late November when the government offered the teachers a 5% increase and a $60M package meant to bring the salaries of teachers on the lower scale on par with the minimum wage in the traditional public service.

The GTU has denied that the Education Ministry offered the $60M package at the meeting held on November 7 in the Ministerís office.

However, Education Minister, Dr Henry Jeffrey yesterday told Stabroek News that the GTU was misleading the public by releasing the minutes of the meeting of November 7 when the offer was not made then.

He said the offer was made during the week of November 25 and the minutes of that meeting have not yet been circulated.

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