Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle Thursday announced that the almost two-week old teachers’ strike will be called off as the two sides ha be decided to go to arbitration.
He said the Guyana Teacher’s Union and the Ministry of Education agreed to take their long-running pay dispute to arbitration. The strike that began on August 27 and entered into the fourth day of the new school year has seen the closure of some schools and skeleton staff at others complemented by trainee teachers, retired teachers, and volunteers including cleaners at some institutions.
Ogle said the Ministry of Education’s team did not make a new pay offer on Thursday against the background of the fact that government had said it could not have afforded the 40 percent demand.
Up to 3:19 PM, the two sides were hammering out the terms of resumption that could include no loss of pay or seniority.
The three-member arbitration panel would be required to accept evidence from government and the union.
The decision by the arbitration would be binding on both sides.
The move to arbitration came as the Teacher’s Union had maintained that it had lost confidence in the Department of Labour as a mediator because Ogle and Junior Labour Minister, Keith Scott had asked the union to accept government’s ball park figure of GY$700 million for 2018 and GY$200 million for adjusting some salary scales.
President David Granger has already said that he preferred to move forward with a future multi-year agreement instead of seeking to meet demands from 2016 to 2020.