Monday, May 2, 2011

GTU head lashes out at Opposition criticisms of 5 year teachers remuneration package

GTU President Colin Bynoe leads union members in the May Day march yesterday

In an interview with members of the media before addressing teachers who had gathered at the GTU’s Woolford Avenue Headquarters following yesterday’s Labour Day march, the Union's President, Colin Bynoe said yesterday that the recent financial and non-salaried deal the union brokered for teachers will have a positive impact on the quality of education, and vowed to ignore Lincoln Lewis, Norris Whitter, Mark Benschop, Christopher Ram and others who have suggested that he has sold out to the government.
He also disclosed that the union is in discussion for a better financial package for retired teachers.

According to the GTU Head, the five percent package, along with other benefits, “is more than good,” when one considers the economic crisis worldwide.
“If you look at what s happening in the UK… the UK is cutting 490,000 jobs in the next year or two, and when you look closer to the Caribbean, Barbados cut back on certain things; they have raised their VAT (Value Added Tax) and are discussing a wage freeze; the Bahamas will be cutting back on allowances they have been giving to their workers; St. Kitts will now be introducing VAT at 19 percent for the first time, and they will not be raising salaries…
“When I consider that we were able to get five percent over the last five years and were able to get another five percent, which is good. But people in this country are only looking at the GTU package from the perspective of the five percent.
We know that it is more than five percent we will be getting…”
“Guyana is no way close to what our Caribbean brothers are getting in salaries as yet, but we are going to get there. The point is every long journey comes with one step, and people have to appreciate what little we get than zero.”

The GTU President had this to say about disparaging remarks made by Christopher Ram, Robert Corbin, David Granger and others about his acceptance of the agreement; “they trying to say that Bynoe took bribe…(but) I always say ‘empty barrel makes more sound’. Responding will only dignify these statements. If they knew we could have gotten more (than the five percent), why they didn’t come on board and help us? We cannot allow these things to distract us from what we are doing.”
“The idea is that we are seeing progress. We struggled for more than 15 years to get this …thing sorted out, and now that we are getting it sorted out we can move forward.
“They may say that while (Former GTU President) Colwyn King was present, we got the first five percent package, it’s a process that started since the time of Jean Persico…Samuel Archer… whereby we were fighting for certain things., and we realised that we weren’t getting it, and as we reviewed (union strategy), we decide to do things differently, and we finally came up with a formula…and that is what I am trying to work on
“Right now several unions are courting us to know what we are doing in terms of our workers so they can apply them.”
The GTU President expressed optimism that government will further increase the salaries and benefits of qualified teachers, in an effort to stop the migration of its professionals.
“In the next three years the (teaching) service is scheduled to be professionalized, the Ministry of Education will see that if you are more qualified, you will have to pay more….Teachers have the freedom to move to Barbados and teach with the same certificate, and if we want retention of our teachers, we will have to give them a better package.
“For instance, teachers going into college, not just coming out as Class One teachers, they are now coming out with associate degrees. So it is a new level of pay that they will be getting.


  1. The opposition thinks by criticizing every thing that the govt does they well get people to stand behind them.But it shows that that dont have time with what they say,the GTU have been satisfy with the deal that the govt is offering.

  2. The people stand up and come out to support PPP to show the opposition that despite there many tries to have the people turn against the PPP the know what is real in this country and which Government work to better the life of Guyanese people.