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– prepared to accept at least 25% increaseAn entire year has almost elapsed and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) is yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education that entails salary and non-salary benefits for public school teachers.GTU President, Mark LyteA previous MOU came to an end last year and the Union has ever since been trying to negotiate with the Ministry for a multi-year agreement. This has not been an easy task, as the negotiations have been ‘off and on’ and at the discretion of the Ministry, with the members of the union being convinced that they, and by extension the teachers, were being sidelined.This state of affairs, according to GTU President, Mark Lyte,Cheap China Jerseys, has left teachers feeling neglected. “They feel that no one cares about them. It is a bothersome issue to know that nobody seems to be interested in the welfare of teachers. Teachers are now questioning whether they really have a caring administration, an administration that promised so much to our teachers,” Lyte reflected.The Ministry in September decided to pay public school teachers increases of ten and six percent. Lyte had revealed that since the Union had not agreed to the percentages offered, the Ministry assured that the percentage increases paid merely represented an interim payment,Cheap Jerseys, pending the outcome of the continued talks.Lyte was convinced that talks with the Union would have yielded “a final position in order to expedite this process of moving forward very quickly and in time for the budget.”But from all indications no effort was made by the Ministry to honour the Union’s expectation. “The last thing we were told is that the payment that teachers received was an interim payment,” said Lyte, who pointed out that it was after many months that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Delma Nedd, had opened and shared with the Union that the increase that was arbitrarily imposed was,Cheap NFL Jerseys, in fact, an interim payment. But since then there has been no commitment to reach an agreement.“There seems to be an unwillingness, fear even, to actually sit and come up with a package for teachers. I think the whole issue boils down to fear of making decisions, and if we have people sitting there and they cannot make decisions, then teachers will continue to operate without an agreement for some time,” Lyte considered, as he noted that the Ministry has to be prepared to reach an agreement before it could be taken to the level of actual implementation.“All we have been doing is attending meetings and there is no outcome. The Ministry is seldom prepared to deal with it. The union presented its proposal and what should have happened, we should have had a counter proposal from the Ministry, but to date we have had none,Wholesale NFL Jerseys,” Lyte related.The GTU since December of last year presented a proposal to the Ministry asking for a 40 per cent increase for teachers across the board for 2016. Also proposed is a 45 per cent increase for next year (2017) and 50 per cent for the following three years (2018-2020) for all categories of teachers.In its proposal too,Cheap China Jerseys, the Union has taken into consideration inflation, and has made it clear that “should there be inflation higher than the percentage agreed upon, then the teachers/teacher-educators must get the benefit of the difference.”But Lyte has revealed that the Union is prepared to settle for a satisfactory pay hike.“We would be prepared to accept something that is satisfactory and we think 25 percent would be acceptable,” said Lyte.He added that “we have made a proposal and we want the Ministry to do its part to come up with its counter proposal so that we can negotiate and arrive at a final decision,” said Lyte, as he disclosed that many public school teachers have operated the entire year without being afforded many benefits.“Many teachers have operated throughout 2016 without clothing allowance, without additional qualification increases, without travelling benefits…It is unfortunate, especially for those who are living on the coast and working in the hinterland,Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, because they are accustomed to their allowances, including transportation. Because we do not have an agreement those obligations cannot be honoured.”Lyte added that “we have had to push so hard recently to get those teachers who are eligible for scholarships to actually get those scholarships. It is very unfortunate, because the longer it takes for this agreement to become enforced, the more teachers will continue to suffer.”Teachers who were eligible for duty concessions this year were granted the privilege of accessing this benefit because an MOU is currently not in place.“Teachers have been affected considerably, all because the Ministry has not been decisive in terms of wanting to bring to an end to this situation.”
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