Teachers’ strike: Gov’t, Union close to ‘initial agreement’ – President Ali

lengthy teachers’ strike, President Dr Irfaan Ali said on Thursday.

“There has been a lot of ongoing work, discussions in relation to the resumption of work and also the issues raised by teachers.

“I don’t want to go in any extended way in response to this. From the most recent feedback I have received, there seems to be some movement and in relation to getting to an initial agreement on terms that will see this situation resumed to some amount of normalcy,” President Ali said on Thursday at a press conference at State House, in Georgetown.

An initial five-week strike began on February 5, with teachers demanding higher salary increases and duty-free concessions, among other benefits.

After a court-mediated process in March, talks between the Education Ministry and GTU resumed. Discussions were halted when the Education Ministry indicated that there was no fiscal space to cater for increases for the period 2019 -2023. Increases for 2024 and future years were put for consideration instead.

Talks between the two parties continue with both sides hoping to come to a compromise at soonest.

Outside of these negotiations, President Ali reiterated the government’s commitment to improving the welfare and livelihoods of teachers and other workers.

He also said the government is keen on improving the education sector, including through the infusion of technology to help rapidly upskill learners.