As the Guyana Teacher’s Union (GTU) continues to await word on salary increases for teachers after nearly two years of stalled negotiations, the Union’s General Secretary, Coretta McDonald, is calling on President David Granger to urge his Ministers to ensure that a deal is reached before the end of the year. The last multi-year agreement between the Education Ministry and the GTU ended inGTU General Secretary, Coretta McDonald2015 and since then, teachers have been waiting for a finalised new deal. McDonald told Guyana Times that the Union is hopeful that an agreement could be made before the start of 2018.“We are pleading with the President so that he can plead with his Ministers to have us complete our salary negotiations before the end of 2017, we would have completed 2016, nothing has happened in terms of the proposals we submitted. We don’t want to complete another year and not having that proposal being signed off and being implemented,” she observed.GTU had suggested a 40 per cent increase in salaries across the board for public school teachers in its December 2015 proposal. The Union had hoped that negotiations and a new agreement could have been completed before mid-2016 but as the situation remains unchanged, McDonald stressed that teachers must be recognised for the service they have been offering the nation.“We are asking you to please recognise our teachers for what they are worth and please have your Ministers honour the agreement,” the GTU General Secretary explained.Once signed, the deal will have to be retroactive since it is a multiyear agreement that would span the period 2016-2020.Earlier this year, the GTU General Secretary contended that teachers across the country were anxious to know when they would receive benefits of the proposed five-year agreement.In the previous agreement, the GTU managed to get a five per cent increase over the course of five years for teachers countrywide, but McDonald had explained that the GTU would like to now see implementation of 45 per cent in 2017 and 50 per cent for the following three years (2018-2020) for all categories of teachers.In May, McDonald suggested that the reshuffling of Permanent Secretaries at the Education Ministry could be partly responsible for Government not being able to meet at the bargaining table. Talks had begun with the GTU and former Permanent Secretary Delma Nedd, where the nonfinancial matters of the proposal were only discussed.Nedd was removed from that position and replaced with Vibert Welch earlier this year. He was formerly attached to the Indigenous People’s Affairs Ministry. Additionally, former Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine is now heading the Public Service Ministry within the Ministry of the Presidency, while the former junior Education Minister Nicollete Henry was recently promoted to the post of Education Minister.It is unclear when the substantive discussions on teacher’s salaries will begin.
Froome, 32, won his fourth Tour de France this year and last month bagged the Vuelta, leaving only the Giro d’Italia as the last grand tour to elude his grasp.Winning it would make him just the seventh man to complete the career treble, but Froome declined to get ahead of himself.“The biggest thing for me at the moment will be to focus on the fifth Tour de France title and try to put everything into going for that,” he said.“But I fully appreciate just how hard that is. After winning four tournaments, its definitely not getting easier, that’s for sure.”“The level is just getting higher and higher every year.”Winning a fifth Tour title would put Froome in elite company, joining only France’s Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx of Belgium, and Spain’s Miguel Indurain.Froome sparked a late surge from the pack along with Uran, Barguil and Spanish two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, who put in a strong showing in one of his final races after recently announcing his retirement.The Shanghai race was staged for the first time as part of the Tour de France’s efforts to boost its brand in China, a country often called the “kingdom of bicycles”.The race involved 20 laps around a 3-kilometre (1.9-mile) street circuit, and was organised by ASO, the same company that holds the Tour de France.Bicycles have long been the workhorse of urban transport for China’s masses, but recreational cycling also is on the rise as incomes and leisure pursuits increase.The contest was held amid murky skies, however, with pollution readings in the “unhealthy” range.China’s notoriously smoggy skies are among factors blamed for slowing development of cycling and other outdoor pursuits.“Cycling at the moment is a very European-dominated sport so it’s great to bring cycling out to these places that don’t get to experience what Europeans get to experience on their doorstep,” Froome said.“So it’s great for the globalisation of cycling and of sports in general.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chris Froome of Britain (L) this year became the first rider since 1978 to win the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana double in the same year © AFP / STRSHANGHAI, China, Oct 29 – Chris Froome continued his dominant year by winning the China Criterium in Shanghai on Sunday, but the Briton admitted he faced an uphill task capturing a historic fifth Tour de France title.Froome, who this year became the first rider since 1978 to win the Tour and the Vuelta a Espana double in the same year, took the inaugural Shanghai race in a late sprint just ahead of Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran and Warren Barguil of France.