Three percent pay hike offer to teachers inadequate
- Baptiste
Stabroek News
May 16, 2004

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The Ministry of Education has proposed a three percent salary increase for teachers for last year, but the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) will reject that proposal, GTU Administrator/ Field Officer Lance Baptiste said.

Asked about current negotiations on increases in salaries for teachers, Baptiste said prior to the death of GTU President, Sydney Murdock, the Ministry of Education had asked the GTU to submit a proposal to cover an extended period.

However, since the GTU had already submitted a proposal for the period 2002, 2003 and 2004, he said, negotiations for this year were still based on that proposal.

Since Murdock's death last month, Baptiste said, the union has met the ministry on three occasions to look at the increase. The two parties were to meet again on Wednesday last, but the absence of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education forced the meeting's postponement. At that meeting the GTU was to respond formally to the three per cent proposal.

It is expected that the two parties will meet this week when the GTU will formally respond to the government's proposal and recommend that the two parties meet at the bilateral level to agree on a suitable offer. Baptiste did not say what a suitable offer was.

Baptiste said the union has reminded the ministry that the Guyana Public Service Union is still to resolve the issue of increases for public servants with the government for this year. He said that no teacher should accept any increase that will be below the level of the minimum wage for the traditional public servant.

Based on the current three per cent offer, he said, a teacher on the lowest scale would get $660 more on his or her current salary. That he said was grossly inadequate.