GTU operating in contravention of its rulebook, lacks credibility – Dr Jagdeo

The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has once again come under fire for their continued attempts to mislead the public, as well as their failure to abide by the provisions of its own rule book. 

During his weekly press conference at Freedom House on Thursday, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, further highlighted the union’s credibility gap and unaccountable nature.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Turning his attention to the General Secretary of the GTU, Coretta McDonald, Dr Jagdeo pointed out that, according to the rules of the union, McDonald may be occupying that position in violation of these very rules.

McDonald, who also serves as an opposition parliamentarian, has held the position for over 10 years.

Citing the GTU’s rule book to support his point, Dr Jagdeo noted that McDonald’s membership of the union would fall under the ‘associate’ category, rendering her ineligible for appointment to general secretary. 

“Teachers who leave the classroom to serve as members of parliament fall under associate membership. McDonald is paid as a teacher. She receives a teacher’s salary as well as a parliamentarian’s salary. But it also says here that associate members shall have the right to vote, but shall not be eligible to hold the office of president or general secretary,” he highlighted.

The GS continued, “These are your own rules, and I think this is a contractual obligation with membership. This is what they submitted, their own rules.”

Adding to this clear lack of credibility, the GS reminded that the GTU has failed to account for monies earned from the salaries of teachers across the country.

Last week, it was revealed that almost $2 billion in dues collected by the GTU have been unaccounted for, as they have failed to have their records audited by the Auditor General’s office over the last 35 years.

In a statement issued last Friday, the Auditor General’s office highlighted that the union has not submitted a financial statement since 1989.

Dr Jagdeo also doubled down on his previous statement that the strike was politically nuanced, adding that the opposition is seeking to create unease in the country, which they plan to capitalise on in preparation for the upcoming general elections.

“APNU can’t mobilise a crowd on its own. They have demonstrated that over and over again. They have no credibility. So, they get people to support them by expressing crocodile tears or symbolic sympathy with sections of the working class. The teachers’ union and others, they are urging other unions to come out, so that when there is an industrial action, the go on the ground, as demonstrated,” he said.

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