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Govt to file appeal in GTU’s case today

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Attorney General Anil Nandlall and High Court Judge Sandil Kissoon

One month after delivering a ruling that the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU)-led strike action in February was legal, and therefore seeking to block plans by the government to deduct pay for absenteeism, High Court Judge Sandil Justice Kissoon has officially handed over the written ruling to the Legal Affairs Ministry.
This was revealed by Attorney General Anil Nandlall who on Tuesday evening said the AG Chambers will now move to file its appeal in the case. He was at the time addressing viewers during his weekly “Issues in the News” programme.
“Yesterday (Monday, May 20, 2024) we received copies of the written judgement numbering 134 pages so the way is now absolutely cleared for us to proceed with the appeal and the application for the stay of execution which we announced will be filed.”
He disclosed that the documents will be filed on Wednesday, May 22, 2024.
Following strike action in February which lasted for four weeks over issues relating to salary increases and other benefits for Teachers, the Ministry of Education moved to cease the deduction of union dues on behalf of the GTU and threatened to cut the salaries of those on strike. This led to the GTU moving to the courts to stop the pay cuts.
On April 19, Justice Kissoon ruled in favour of the GTU that they have a right to strike and that right is embedded in the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed to every citizen of Guyana under the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
However, Nandlall argued that the Common Law principle of “no work, no pay” was justifiably applied by the government. He argued that Article 147 (2) of the Constitution states that no person should be stopped from exercising their “freedom to strike.” This means, according to the Attorney General, that the freedom to strike is bound by conditionalities, one of which is the common law principle “no work, no pay.”
Even as the Government is moving to appeal this matter, Teachers have again resumed strike action to once again pressure the government into negotiating increased salaries from 2019 to 2023, a position that the government has already rejected.
The Ministry of Education this week released a statement insisting that the GTU acts in good faith and honours the 1990 agreement that the reconciliation process be followed.
The Ministry said, “Conciliation cannot commence until the strike has ended and a state of normalcy returns.” It reiterated its readiness to work together to determine a multi-year agreement from 2024.

The post Govt to file appeal in GTU’s case today appeared first on Guyana Times.

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