GTU opens 1st Triennial Delegates Conference
– Recognises the improved relationship between Union and MoE
(April 24, 2019) – The Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) opened its first Triennial Delegates Conference last evening in the Bertram Hamilton Auditorium of the Union’s Woolford Avenue, Georgetown headquarters.
The Conference which began yesterday will continue until Friday, April 26, 2019. The GTU membership is being represented by delegates from all three counties, Essequibo, Berbice and Demerara.
President of the GTU, Mr. Mark Lyte in his Presidential Address, said that the Union is proud to be recognised as one of the oldest and most vocal trade unions in Guyana.
He noted that there has been an improved relationship between the Ministry of Education and the GTU. He said that the Union recognises that healthy partnerships are paramount to any successful partnership.
He said that as a stakeholder in the delivery of education to the Guyanese populace, the GTU is committed to ensuring that regular meetings are held and decisions taken, are carried. He said that there must be a continued collaboration between all stakeholders in the education sector to ensure the smooth implementation of policies.
Further, the GTU President said that the Union has experienced several achievements over the last three years. He said that several of those achievements were directly related to the honouring of specifics agreed on the last Memorandum of Agreement between the Ministry of Education and the GTU.
Regarding the business of the Triennial Delegates Conference, Mr. Lyte said that the event seeks to engage each participant in meaningful discussions so that the future of the union can be brighter.
He said, “As a union, we are not limiting ourselves to trade union matters but also to the business of education and the relevant changes we need to vehemently support which are critical to the advancement of an educated nation.”
Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry in delivering her solidarity message said that the contributions of teachers and the GTU to the development of Guyana are recognised and respected.
She said that with this recognition, like so many other countries, Guyana is working assiduously to strengthen its human and social development platform and that a key part of this effort is the preparation of empowerment of citizens with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to realise sustainable development.
Minister Henry said that at the forefront of this noble task are the nation’s teachers, and are thus inextricably linked to the country’s realisation of sustainable socio-economic development.
She added that the Ministry of Education is aware that the Guyana Teachers’ Union has responsibility for ensuring that the working conditions and welfare of teachers are satisfactorily met.
“For this to be fruitful, continued collaboration between the Ministry and the Guyana Teachers’ Union is therefore essential. This collaboration will also allow for an upward progression of our Education system and more significantly, the possible realisation of our nation’s socio-economic development,” Minister Henry remarked.
Moreover, Minister Henry noted that last year the GTU and the Ministry of Education successfully negotiated wages, salaries and other benefits for teachers. She said that this year, the two parties are back at the negotiating table working towards even more favourable outcomes.
Meanwhile, the Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection with responsibility for Labour, Hon. Keith Scott said that the government of Guyana is keeping its promise to improve the education sector for all Guyanese.
He said that this commitment is evident in the substantial budgetary allocations towards the sector through the national budget. He encouraged the Union’s members that teamwork is an essential pillar in the unity that the GTU seeks to promote during its Triennial Conference.
Remarks were also given by Mr. Seepaul Narine, representing the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), Mr. Sherwood Clarke, President of the Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU), Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand, Regional Chairperson of Region Four, Ms. Genevieve Allen and the Mayor of New Amsterdam, Her Worship Winifred Heywood.
During the opening session last evening the GTU showed its appreciation for those members that have made significant contributions by distributing several awards. There was also the awarding of the Presidential Medal to three members. Those members that have passed away were also remembered.