Gov’t grants duty-free concession to 300 teachers

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Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon

…as administration moves to honour MoU with union

THREE hundred teachers drawn from all across the country are to be granted duty-free concessions.

The concessions will be for vehicles with capacities of up to 1800cc, outboard engines of up to 75hp for persons in the riverine areas, and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for eligible persons in the hinterland.

This is according to Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon, who made the announcement at Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency.

Harmon said that the granting of the concessions was a follow-up to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Education and the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), following a strike last year by teachers.

He said that among those teachers who will be eligible for such concessions are heads and deputy heads of Grade A and B schools, and headteachers of Grade C, D and E schools who would have served three consecutive years in those positions, or are about to do so since taking up those appointments.

Concessions will also be granted to all senior masters and Heads of Department (HODs) and Grade II Lecturers of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), and technical schools who will have served in those positions for six consecutive years.
He said that a total of 100 persons have been selected for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018, and another 100 will be deemed eligible for concessions for each of those years.
Eligible persons must be members of the GTU for no less than three years, and must have at least three years of service remaining.

A breakdown of eligible persons by region is as follows: Region One (Barima-Waini ) 1; Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) 24); Region Three (West Demerara-Essequibo Islands) 58); Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) 41); Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) 18); Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) 48; Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) 7; Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) 2; Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo)3; and Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice)11.

Persons in Georgetown and those working at the CPCE and technical schools, who number 78, will be granted their concessions separately from those within the ambit of the Ministry of Education.

Harmon said that in granting those concessions, Cabinet took into account the need to provide favourable conditions of work and remuneration for persons within the education system. He said that the government has reaffirmed its commitment to continue working with the GTU to improve the working conditions of the country’s teachers and educators.
Last year, teachers across the country went on strike weeks before the new school year began in September, citing the need for an increase in salary among other conditions of work. Following back-and-forth issues, the two sides met with President David Granger, and further negotiations led to the ending of the strike.

Subsequent negotiations between the GTU and the Ministry of Education led to the teachers receiving the requisite increases.