Teachers’ remuneration will grow steadily– PPP GS affirms

urges teachers to continue to work with Gov’t

Whilst the government is actively working to improve the working conditions for educators in Guyana, the governing Peoples Progressive Party/Civic has assured that the remuneration package for teachers will increase significantly in the future.

These assurances were made by PPP General Secretary, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who explained that major plans are on the horizon to comprehensively improve the education sector, including making available, training opportunities for teachers.

General Secretary of the PPP, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“We have major plans for the future [and] the remuneration will grow…we have to be balanced but, in the future, it [remuneration] will go up steeply,” Dr Jagdeo told reporters at Freedom House, Georgetown on Thursday.

He made these statements in response to questions raised by members of the media, regarding the state of affairs between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU).

POLITICALLY DRIVEN

In February of this year, the GTU orchestrated an illegal strike, claiming that engagements on the proposed Multi-Year Agreement have broken down, even as 20 of the 41 requests were met by the ministry.

Consequently, Dr Jagdeo expressed the view that the strike is politically driven, and called attention to the government’s many efforts to improve the welfare of hundreds of educators in the public system.

“We believe that it’s driven by Congress Place…this wouldn’t stretch your imagination to see that there is a political motive to this, because the head of the union is one of the most rabid members of the opposition, who is extremist, racist, and is squatting on the general secretary position,” he asserted.

Notably, the Union is insisting that negotiations must surround retroactive pay increases for the period 2019-2023. However, the Education Ministry has made it clear that there is no fiscal space to cater for the retroactive increases.

“They expect us now to adjust their wages for that period; we said it’s a non-starter. If we do that, we’d have to address everyone in the country, including maybe the sugar workers who got zero in the whole APNU period…. we cannot go back in the past,” the general secretary firmly expressed.

On April 19, High Court Judge Sandil Kisson will hand down his decision in the case by the GTU against the Government of Guyana, who is seeking the court’s ruling that the five-week strike was legal and teachers are entitled to be paid even while they were on strike.

BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS FOR TEACHERS UNDER PPP/C GOVT

Under the PPP/C Administration, the wages and salaries have grown by 61 per cent, according to Dr Jagdeo in a past press conference. For context, the wage bill increased from $24.4 billion in 2020 to $39 billion in 2023, representing a 61.4 per cent increase in salaries for teachers.

Moreover, the education sector’s budget significantly increased, from 51 billion dollars in 2020 to 135 billion dollars in the current year, marking a substantial increase of about 162 per cent.

This funding has enabled a series of improvements in the sector, including infrastructural development and the erection of several state-of-the-art education facilities across Guyana.

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