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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Battle of the Banks…GBTI pulled off a 13-run win against Scotiabank when the two companies clashed on Friday last at the GBTI Recreational Centre in Bel Air Park, Georgetown.Playing under lights, GBTI Captain Mohan Balram won the toss and opted to bat. Eventually, a target a target of 55 was set, and the visitors were restricted to 41, taking to e advantage of home conditions by batting first.Team GBTI seemed distracted on familiar conditions, as the batsmen showed signs of intimidation, which resulted in three run outs within the first four overs.Despite wickets falling at the other end, opening batsman Ramesh Sookram (14) stayed firm, as he was joined by captain Mohan Balram (16), who came in and settled the innings. David Mohamed entered next and supported well with 14 as the side end up with 54 from the allotted 12 overs.The standout bowler for Scotiabank was Parmeshwar “Andy” Budhu, who took 3-9.Scotiabank’s attempt to overhaul GBTI’s score did not go so well, as they were greeted with some hostile fast bowling from Mohamed.The top order was further derailed by two (2) excellent run outs from Bhesham Persaud and wicketkeeper Devon Powley.A late surge from Binsaud Baksh and Ravi De Souza threatened to take the game away, but in the end, GBTI’s bowling proved to be too hot to handle, as Scotia Bank ended well short when the overs expired.Baksh top scored for Scotia with 23, while Balram’s 1-2 earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.