Guyana’s Labour Minister deems planned teachers’ strike illegal

January 30, 2024 in Regional

Guyana’s Labour Minister, Joseph Hamilton, has said a planned strike by the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) is illegal.

In a national address on Monday, Hamilton said the ministry wrote to GTU informing them that their strike, which is expected to take place from February 5 to 16, goes against the law and previous agreements between the union and government.

“Any strike that is called by the Guyana Teachers Union will be deemed illegal and illegitimate by the Ministry of Labour. The General Secretary, Coretta McDonald, and the executive of GTU are fully aware based on the correspondence between the union and the chief labour officer that they were attempting to have him override procedures and the stages that are necessary for good labour relations,” Hamilton said.

The minister called on teachers not to be intimidated into striking by the GTU.

“Do not allow the Guyana Teachers Union and its executives to threaten you or intimidate you. They cannot and they are in no position to cause you to lose your job [or] to cause you not to be promoted,” he stated.

Hamilton said he will do all in his power to ensure teachers’ rights are protected.

Teachers, who plan on participating in the strike, were warned that the Ministry of Education and Teaching Service Commission has the law on their side should they choose to reprimand them.

Hamilton called on the GTU to follow proper protocols “if they believe they have a grievance”.