Grenada teachers get 13% increase

St George’s – The Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT) says an estimated 1 800 teachers employed by the government will be receiving a 13 per cent increase in salary for the period 2023 to 2025.

The new collective agreement was signed Wednesday and witnessed by Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, who used the occasion to thank members of the teaching profession for the role they are playing in society.

“Having a formal education system is fundamental to a civilized society for our growth and development, and in the absence of teachers, that simply cannot happen,” said Mitchell, who is also the Finance Minister.

“I think it’s a fundamental difference that teachers play, no amount of money, no amount of fringe benefits can truly show the appreciation for that.

“Too often industrial relations are characterised by strife and we have to get to the point where we can have healthy differences. We can debate, we can disagree but we have to find a way where we can recognise that the teachers are members of the GUT but the teachers are ultimately our staff. They are the staff of the state, and so ultimately, we have an obligation to be as fair as we can for them,” he said.

GUT President, Jude Bartholomew, described the signing as historic, noting that it is the only time in recent memory that a new collective agreement was being signed within a four-month period.

“Historically, the Grenada Union of Teachers and other unions most of the time had to march on the streets, go through the labour commissioner or commission a process for mediation and other things for salary increase. We note this time, we place on record, that this a historic moment that we appreciate and recognise,” he said.

He said that the new agreement did not cover everything that was initially requested.

“We may never be able to get all that you really want and hope to, but at the same time when you come together and negotiate, we can come to a common understanding when you are at a very good place,” he said.

Bartholomew said that for the 2023 to 2024 period, teachers would receive a four per cent increase and five per cent for the year 2025. He said the fringe benefits in the new agreement will also result in an increase in financial compensation for extracurricular work, including the marking of School-Based Assessment scripts

The Government Negotiating Team is yet to conclude negotiations with the other four other unions that represent other public sector workers. (CMC)

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