Officials from GTU and the Education Ministry addressing the media after a meeting last yearTeachers’ salary negotiationsThe Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) is optimistic that the Education Ministry will be able to honour its promises made in the last agreement by next month, to hopefully reinitiate the discussions on teachers’ wages, among others soon.President of the GTU, Mark Lyte in an interview with this publication on Tuesday explained that the Ministry is yet to address certain matters under the last agreement inked in October last year.“Some of the things still being addressed currently [include] the debunching and the clothing allowance will be paid in September. We have the allowance for special needs teachers that is still to be sorted out but we anticipate that sometime in this new term, in September, we should be able to resume our talks,” he noted.Lyte, when asked if he was pleased with the Ministry’s pace of satisfying these obligations, said he realises that the requests made require money, so at this time the Union is patient.“I think we would have wanted to see them being implemented a little faster but having had discussions with the officials they keep saying that they are now looking for the funds to honour these things,” he posited.In February, the Union submitted a proposal to the MoE for a 25 per cent salary increase in wages for public school teachers. GTU proposed 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.In addition to this, the GTU President 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.Last year, teachers were forced to protest for their wages on the streets of Georgetown, from the beginning of the Christmas term, for several days after being ignored by the Government. GTU finally accepted a 12 per cent increase 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.
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The DNC issued a statement saying the Supreme Court has previously ruled that political parties – and not states – have the right to decide how their candidates for president are selected. “The state of Florida moved the date of their primary knowing full well what the consequences from the national parties would be. The DNC has the absolute legal right to treat the state-run primary as a mere beauty contest,” the statement said. Nelson said they tried to compromise with party leaders before filing the lawsuit. The calendar was designed to preserve the traditional role that Iowa and New Hampshire have played in selecting the nominee, while adding two states with more racial and geographic diversity to influential early slots. Meanwhile, South Carolina Democrats will decide within two weeks whether to ask national party leaders to move the state’s primary to Jan. 19 and make it the party’s first contest in the South. “The concern is we don’t want to be 10 days after the Republican primary,” Joe Werner, the state Democratic Party executive director, said Thursday. The Iowa and New Hampshire congressional delegations on Thursday sent a letter to House leaders asking them to stay out of the simmering fight over primary election dates. “Constitutional questions have already arisen related to congressional action to set the order of presidential primaries and caucuses,” the letter said. “We believe that this matter is best left to the two major political parties and the states.” The lawsuit filed by the Florida lawmakers said, “For the right to vote in a presidential primary to have any meaning, those presidential primary ballots must result in votes that are going to count at the party’s national convention.” It notes the controversy over vote-counting in Florida that extended the 2000 presidential election, which was decided only after a Supreme Court ruling. “In the aftermath of the shattering events of 2000, Democrats here and around the country have made continued efforts to assure that every vote counts,” it said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The party violated the Constitution and federal voting laws by taking away Florida Democrats’ ability to have a say in choosing the presidential nominee, says the lawsuit filed by Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Alcee Hastings against the Democratic National Committee and Chairman Howard Dean. “For the DNC to say to the fourth-largest contingency of Democrats in the nation that their votes will not matter in next year’s presidential primary is not only shocking and ironic, but we believe is illegal,” Hastings said. The national party’s rules committee voted to take away Florida’s 210 delegates after the state party chose to go along with a Jan. 29 primary. That date was set by Florida’s Republican-led Legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Democratic Party rules say states cannot hold their 2008 primary contests before Feb. 5, except for Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina. POLITICS: Move to strip the state party of its slate ofconvention delegates brings lawsuit. By Brendan Farrington THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Congressional Democrats from Florida sued their own party Thursday, hoping to restore the national convention delegates stripped from the state because it scheduled an early presidential primary.