Statement issued by the President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Marvin Andall, on moves being made by the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government for teachers to agree to a deferral on the money owed to them
The Executive of the G.U.T. extends best wishes to all our members and the nation as a whole for a productive and prosperous 2021. 2020 was certainly a challenging year for us all but with your unwavering support we were able to safely navigate.
We wish to inform you that on the 31st December 2020, Old Year’s Day, a Government team led by the Hon. Oliver Joseph met with member of our Executive to have discussions on the 4% salary increase that is due at the end of January 2021.
The government’s team again requested a deferral of the 4% increase in January. The G.U.T.’s team indicated that the mandate given by our members is that there should be no deferral.
The G.U.T.’s leadership is of the view that a government that can pull more than 60 million U.S, dollars from underneath the mattress ought not to be seeking a deferral of a mere 4% salary increase.
A teacher who is working for $1500 a month with the 4% salary increase will receive $60 more a month. Yes, only $60. Would it be fair to ask that teacher to wait for this increase? The G.U.T. team clearly indicated to the government’s team that it expects every teacher to receive the 4% increase to their salary at the end of January 2021.
On another matter, the G.U.T. congratulates Commissioner Edvin Martin on his confirmation in his present post. The G.U.T. yearns for the opportunity to extend similar congratulations to some of our principals who have been acting in their posts for many years before the Commissioner and are yet to be appointed. It is only in Hollywood that persons are expected to act for so long.
Additionally, we have hundreds of teachers who have been permanently temporary. 2021 will be the year when in one way or another this matter will be addressed.
Fellow educators, there is an ongoing effort to remove some of the benefits that we have gained over the years. A concerted move is being made to reduce the opportunity for teachers’ professional advancement.
There is also a reluctance to remunerate teachers for the upgrade in their qualifications. Decisive action must be taken to correct this and your full support will be required.
Best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2021.