GTU must take some responsibility for current situation

first_imgDear Editor,I sincerely hope that the current impasse in relation to the contract for teachers could be resolved without a prolonged saga; our teachers deserve better. Having said that, I cannot help but feel that the Guyana Teachers Union must also take some responsibility for the current sad situation our teachers find themselves in. This position was arrived at as a result of the following three points:1. The initial offer proposed could at best be regarded as reckless and would have contributed to the perception that the Union is not taking this process seriously. It is one thing to devise a wish list for consideration under ideal circumstances and entirely another to establish a basis for serious engagement in the best interest of those you represent.The proposal from the Union was clearly the former and would have undermined their ability to sit at the table and engage in worthwhile negotiations without seeming to lose significantly – let us be real, a 40 per cent increase for over 9000 teachers retroactive to 2015 in this economic climate is a tall ask. Add that to the request for debunching, which any government would balk at given the enormity of the payout, you leave yourself in the untenable situation we currently face.More importantly, the Union seems to lack the capacity to devise alternative practical arrangements that would see the disbursement of those funds over a protracted period in forms that would see teachers potentially benefiting without an actual cash payout – it appears that they are hoping that the Government would devise same and they will wait forever for that.2. The Guyana Teachers Union, whether they would accept it or not, appeared to be playing politics all along rather than strictly sticking to the business of teachers’ welfare.Unfortunately, like other unions in Guyana, the GTU showed its hand early in 2015 when the pre-existing contract expired under the previous Government and just prior to the general elections they decided to ‘work to rule’ as a form of protest for not arriving at a speedy contract renewal engagement. Three years hence, they have not yet treated the business of teachers’ livelihoods with equal urgency and allowed themselves to be exposed in numerous charades and exercises in futility.The fact that it was Minister Ally who was sent to the meeting with the GTU, instead of someone with more authority to fully address the issues at hand, speaks volumes in relation to how the Union is regarded by the Government. One could only assume that she was sent there to appeal to their political sensibilities.As such, the opportunity for objective and balanced engagement has long been squandered and teachers are now in a rather tenuous situation. Few would be surprised if in a few days a different pronouncement is heard from the Union regarding some compromise that leaves teachers in no better position than they currently are – that has been the pattern, talk big then back down.3. The GTU has failed to establish themselves as a formidable force that would give them the clout to truly orchestrate the coup they are attempting. Their laughable mini protests to date, with the same faces I might add, are a reflection of the fact that they are out of step with the masses they represent. Teachers are not engaged in the type of professional experiences that would move them to develop the collective consciousness that the Union is now desperately relying on. The occasional meeting and some cases of advocacy on the part of teachers within the system is a far cry from the role this Union should play in the lives of the almost 10,000 teachers they represent.The Union needs to demonstrate that they are contributing to the professional development of teachers on a consistent basis. Teachers need to see tangible evidence that they are part of a professional association that contributes to their professional and personal advancement.On this count, the Union has failed miserably. Unfortunately, our teachers are now asked to awaken some dormant affiliation to a cause that they have no faith has been handled in the best manner.The almost three-year delay in promotions a few years ago did nothing to help thousands of teachers who saw their professional advancement delayed for an issue few still understand –who really won? In the midst of this crisis, this might be bitter medicine for the Union to stomach, but it should at the least awaken a desire to do better in the future, because simply put, our teachers truly deserve better.Sincerely,Vivian D Brothersonlast_img read more

Manchester City forward Stevan Jovetic joins Inter Milan on 18-month loan

first_img1 Stevan Jovetic Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic has completed his loan move to Inter Milan.The Premier League club have confirmed the 25-year-old has joined Inter on a 18 month loan deal, with a view to a permanent transfer.Jovetic joined City from Fiorentina in the summer of 2013, but has not been a regular in Manuel Pellegrini’s side.A statement on City’s official website on Friday read: “Stevan Jovetic has signed for Inter Milan on a year-and-a-half’s loan with a view to a permanent transfer.“The 25-year-old Montenegrin joined City from Fiorentina in summer 2013, but injury has consistently upset his progress for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.“He will now go on loan to the Nerazzurri for a season and a half, with a view to a permanent stay.“Jovetic managed 11 goals from 44 appearances at City, with the highlight his double in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in August 2014, and he lifted the Premier League and Capital One Cup trophies in the 2013/14 season.“Everyone at City wishes Stevan well for his time with Inter.”last_img read more