Teachers Union wants shorter multi-year salary, benefits agreement

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 December 2015, 20:59 by GxMedia

FLASH BACK: President of the Guyana Teachers Union, Mark Lyte (right) leading the teachers contingent on the May Day March.

The recently elected executive of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) wants a shorter multi-year salaries and benefits agreement to cater for inflation, a top union official said Tuesday.

GTU President, Mark Lyte said the executive was working on the features of new multi-year agreement but he declined to divulge details. The current five-year agreement expires in 2015.

He said a new agreement spanning fewer years would allow teachers and their union to better assess their salary needs that will make them “comfortable”. He noted that the 2011-2015 agreement did not give them enough leverage to cope with the impact of inflation.

“I think if we think in terms of inflation happening annually, then it doesn’t address high inflation over the years and we can’t address it until five years so maybe that is one of the biggest issues there where salaries are concerned,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Inflation was 4.5 percent in 2010; 3.3 percent in 2011; 3.5 in 2012 and 0.9 percent in 2013.  Inflation is projected to be 5 percent this year

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 3.6 in 2010; 5.4 percent in 2011; 4.8 in 2012 and 5.2 percent in 2013. Real GDP has been forecast at 5.6 for this year.

The existing multi-year agreement caters for an annual five percent across-the-board increase in salaries as well increased remuneration for teachers who have improved their qualifications, and increases in the station and hard-lying allowances being paid to eligible teachers.