Teachers Settle for a Smaller Increase in Wages with an Increase In Benefits
Teachers may not get that 15% wages increase they are hoping for but they still have faith that the government will consider a proper increase in their salaries. President Bharrat Jagdeo has thrown his weight in on the issue of teachers pay and the Guyana Teachers Union does not seem too happy with his offer at this time. On Wednesday the two parties met and the President rejected the proposed 15 percent salary increase for teachers.
The General Secretary said the union is not losing faith and hopes to continue fighting the battle until teachers get what they deserve. The GTU believes that the benefits for teachers will compensate for the low salaries although it does not think that will be enough.
The union is willing to accept an eight or the least seven percent increase on teachers pay if they cannot get the 15 percent. An agreement is expected to be signed between the Education Ministry and the union sometime next week.
The two sides during the meeting agreed to a number of benefits for teachers. For the first time 100 house lots would be set aside each year for teachers. Uniform allowances will be increased from six thousand dollars to eight thousand dollars. One hundred head teachers will also receive a one-off duty free concession each year.
More University of Guyana scholarships will be given out which is more than half of what the union requested in its proposal. Final arrangements will also be put in place for the commencement of a 40 million dollar teacher’s house revolving fund.