GTU resumes teachers strike on Thursday

In response to the breakdown of collective bargaining talks with the Ministry of Education (MOE)/Government, the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has announced the resumption of strike action. The union in a missive seen by this publication said it perceives the government’s reluctance to engage in meaningful negotiations as a violation of labour laws and a disrespect to the integrity of all teachers in Guyana.

Despite the union’s patience in seeking a satisfactory resolution regarding salary increases for teachers, the GTU deems the government’s repeated imposition of salary terms in December 2021, 2022, and 2023 as evidence of its unwillingness to genuinely engage with the union. Consequently, the strike is set to recommence on Thursday, May 9, 2024, until further notice.

A strike, characterised by the collective refusal to work organised by employees to assert their demands, is viewed by the GTU as a necessary tool to compel the employer to acknowledge and address the concerns of teachers. The union calls upon all teachers to participate in this justified action, emphasising that their rights are being violated by their employer.

The decision to resume strike action has garnered support from both the General Council and a private opinion poll conducted among teachers and civic-minded individuals across Guyana, indicating widespread backing among teachers nationwide.

During the strike period, the GTU has issued specific instructions for teachers, including abstaining from reporting to work from May 9 onwards and disregarding any threats from high-ranking officials. Headteachers supportive of the strike are advised to hand over school keys to the most senior teachers on staff or to relevant education departments or police stations.

The GTU urges teachers across Guyana to rally behind this justified action to ensure that the collective bargaining process between MOE/Government and the GTU moves forward. Teachers are encouraged to stay informed by closely monitoring releases from the union’s executive as they navigate through the strike.

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