Another failed promise in the APNU/AFC manifesto

first_imgDear Editor,Despite teachers being labelled supporters of the coalition Government, President David Granger and cabinet are reluctant to adhere to the demands of the Guyana Teachers Union.A joint manifesto of the APNU/AFC coalition Government before the 2015 elections, “Our Vision for Unity, Stability and Development”, was a promise for a good life for all Guyanese. Notably in the manifesto, under the Education section, the coalition Government highlighted that education is key to social transformation, and they have several strategies aimed at boosting this vital sector.Two critical strategies the manifesto mentioned are: that the Government would develop appropriate non-monetary benefits for teachers, and increase emoluments (salaries) with improved working conditions for teachers.After election to Government in May 2015, the GTU submitted its multi-year proposal for wages’ increases to the Ministry of Education, subject Minister Nicollete Henry failed to represent the teachers’ issues, and after two years, on the 29th October 2017, President David Granger intervened to avert a strike with a delayed tactic of setting up a High Level Task Force to investigate and make the necessary recommendations to the MoE.This High Level Task Force, which included senior Government Ministers, failed to negotiate a reasonable package for teachers’ wage increases.This failed negotiation can demonstrate and expose the level of incompetence in terms of negotiations that exists in the APNU/AFC coalition Government.Teachers are the heart of the education system in any country of the world; the influence of teachers extends beyond the classroom and well into the future.Teachers are the persons who shape a nation’s future, so it is imperative that the APNU/AFC coalition Government STOP stalling the negotiations and increase their salaries and other allowances immediately. Teaching is more than imparting knowledge; it is inspiring change.We must compliment GTU President Mr Mark Lyte and the union for standing up against this selfish Government, and urge that the teachers support the GTU in this struggle, especially those teachers in Region Six, to ensure that their goal is achieved.Sincerely,Zamal Hussainlast_img read more