Tag: 太原楼凤

GTU, Govt enter talks to set up arbitration panel

first_img‒ to meet again on Friday following adjournmentTalks between Government and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) have begun in earnest; as the two sides hope to set up an arbitration panel that can bring to an end one of the most tumultuous pay disputes in recent memory for teachers.The meeting, which was held at the Ministry of Social Protection, Labour Department Tuesday afternoon, centred on finalising the members of the arbitration panel. This includes choosing a chairperson for the panel.A previous meeting between the Union and GovernmentThe two sides were locked in a meeting with Government officials late into the afternoon. According to sources, the meeting has been adjourned until Friday, as more time was requested. Efforts to contact union President Mark Lyte and General Secretary Coretta McDonald were unsuccessful.While conciliation was tried and ultimately unsuccessful, arbitration is expected to produce a definitive decision on benefits for teachers. This is because the arbitrator is appointed as an independent and neutral deal brokered between the two sides.The panel will be expected to broker a new multi-year agreement for the period 2016 to 2020. The last agreement expired in 2015. GTU has already rejected Government’s offer for teachers to get a debunching payoff of $200 million for 2018/19.The offer of $700 million for salary increases for 2018 only were similarly rejected. Following this breakdown, GTU had orchestrated strike action across Guyana. While some schools were open with few teachers present, others remained on complete shutdown.Education Minister Nicolette Henry had deployed some 400 substitute teachers during the period. This number had included retired, trainee and volunteer teachers. Teachers who were on strike officially returned for duty on Monday as per the terms of arbitration.Several have called for Government to move to arbitration, with there even being talk of an overseas-based arbitrator. In a previous interview with Guyana Times, President of the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) Lincoln Lewis recommended that the process be moved on to arbitration.“Scott is not an arbiter. His department does conciliation. And conciliating, it’s not them that makes the decision. Conciliator works with the parties to bring them closer together to arrive at a decision on their own. They have to arrive at a decision. The arbitrator listens to the evidence and makes the decision.”“So what you have here is a situation where the union has been calling for arbitration. Arbitration, in this circumstance, I think is important to be considered, because the conciliator is a part of the Government and represents the Government’s interest.”last_img read more

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