Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton, has criticized the Irfaan Ali-led Government for exploiting public servants’ salary increases as a divisive strategy. According to Norton, the Government’s apparent unwillingness to start implementing pay raises and wage changes for the country’s educators is a sign that it lacks a comprehensive strategy for the development of the nation and its many sectors.
Members of the Guyana Police Force have seen minimum salary adjustments of up to 21% in addition to an overall 8% salary increase announced by President Irfaan Ali in recent weeks. Medical professionals have also benefited from significant salary modifications while teachers continue to get the same compensation with just an 8% boost.
Norton, who earlier this week argued that the increased and compensation adjustments should be for all public servants, has had trouble accepting this reality. He believes that the Government’s decision to exclude teachers from the programme amounts to discrimination.
“We believe it should be across the board. It appears that the Government is giving some persons in the public service a better life, even though the resources are inadequate but at the same time you are depriving teachers, etc,” he stated.
Recently, President of the Guyana Teachers’ Union, Mark Lyte urged the Government to take similar actions to raise the pay of teachers who, he opined, make significant sacrifices to educate the nation’s learners.
He claimed that the Teaching Service Commission’s absence for the past two years, makes it even more evident that the Government is failing to address the complaints of teachers. For any teacher to be promoted or appointed, according to Lyte, the commission is necessary.
The Teaching Service Commission will, however, be reconstituted in 2023, according to a recent announcement by President Irfaan Ali.
Teachers have been outraged at being left out of the wage increases and salary changes, and many have expressed their outrage on social media.
In January 2023, at the start of the new school year, several of them have called for a strike. There has not been any official statement in this regard from the Guyana Teachers’ Union.
Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton
GTU President, Mark Lyte