June 12, 2024



‘Mek it mek sense’- Linden teachers support GTU strike action for higher wages

…….GTU Region 10 Branch reps said strike will go on for two weeks

Scores of Linden teachers from nursery, primary and secondary schools, joined their colleagues in a nationwide strike action which was organized by the Guyana Teachers’ Union. They were also joined by parents and regional officials. “We demand collective bargaining agreement, we demand debunching, we demand an increase in our salaries” were the terms outlined by Regional Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira who is also a teacher. Municipal Councillor Vanessa Kissoon, also joined the protest.

Teachers turned up in their numbers and marched on Republic Avenue with their placards calling for a higher increase than the recently instituted 6.5 percent increase to their salaries. Most of the schools in Linden were closed with the majority of students staying home. The GTU’s regional chairman Alister Fraser walked with the teachers with his placard, “In unity we stand for a better educated land.”

 Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira said the strike is a call for more than money but a complete overhaul in the education system. The teachers chanted, ‘6.5 percent can’t work’, while being supported by onlookers. ‘Slippers on the ground, we ain’t backing down,’ ‘Students driving, teacher walking, mek it mek sense,’ ‘Overwork, underpay, mek it mek sense,’ ‘teachers can’t pay rent with 6.5 percent,’ were some of the chants heard by the protesting teachers who culminated the march at the Department of Education.

“Teachers are demonstrating their frustration, the 6.5 percent increase in salaries along with other benefits……..our issues are simple bread and butter issues and it affects our livelihood, we are here to signal not only to the residents of Region 10 but to the entire Guyana that enough is enough, we cannot go on any longer,”  Vice President of the Upper-Demerara GTU Branch said. The teachers are expected to strike for two weeks.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Education has deemed the strike action illegal and made it clear that teachers’ salaries will be deducted if they participate. Head of the GTU Coretta McDonald, however said that a corporate sponsor will reimburse those teachers who choose to participate.