The positive minded Education Minister, Nicolette Henry, on Saturday visited a few schools around Georgetown and on the East Coast of Demerara to assess their readiness for the new school year scheduled to begin on Monday, September 3.This was according to a statement issued by the Ministry which detailed a report of each of the schools’ readiness.Education Minister Nicolette Henry being briefed by Special Projects Officer, Ron Eastman on the ongoing works at Cummings Lodge SecondaryThe Minister’s visit comes at a time where education officials across the country are sitting at the edge of their seats, with their fingers crossed since more than 7000 teachers are expected to go on strike from today.The proposed strike is expected to start one week before the new school term begins, during schools’ pre-term activities. According to the President of the Guyana Tachers’ Union, Mark Lyte, if head teachers are going to be on strike then they need to hand over the school keys to the Department of Education before actions commence.Meanwhile, some temporary teachers are of the view that if they were to go on strike, they will be replaced by trained teachers who are waiting to get into the system. Lyte added that they could go to work and still be laid off because they are temporary.Minister Henry did say measures will be put in place if the teachers strike. Some of those measures she outlined are working a shift system in schools and having volunteers take over schools among others.However, on Friday, Lyte said he finds the Minister’s proposal hilarious.“I don’t know if the Minister understood what it took for us to have teachers. We are not replaceable. Let us see what this emergency plan is because somebody will have to conduct my orientation when the parents show up on Monday; me nor none of my teachers will be in school,” Lyte said after being assured that many of the head teachers had already handed in their keys to the Department of Education.Lyte was on Friday absent from the conciliation talks, which were organised by the Social Protection Ministry’s Department of Labour for the Union and the Education Ministry to meet and discuss a way forward.According to Lyte, he was unable to attend the meeting since he was out of the region on duty and only received an official invite on Friday morning.He indicated that he would have received yet another invitation for a meeting with the same parties, which is now expected to be held on August 28; day two into the strike action.Lyte said he is yet to confirm his attendance to that meeting.The GTU has rejected Government’s request for teachers to agree to a debunching payoff of $200 million for 2018/19. Lyte said the Union similarly rejected the $700 million cap that was placed on salary increases which was for 2018 only. Government also wants the clothing allowance to remain at $8000; a figure Lyte said was given in 2011.He said, too, that for the Whitley Council Leave, teachers still have to wait four years before getting their one month off, even though the GTU appealed for three years. The Union is seeking 40 per cent salary increases for its 7000 members.
On April 3, the group served Beilke with a second notice of intent to circulate a recall petition. But in a single-sentence letter sent to the City Clerk’s Office last Friday, C-TIP said it intended to halt the recall attempt. Murga said he uncovered a “technical deficiency” in the recall document that forced his group to drop the effort. He said he had referred to Beilke as mayor pro tem instead of mayor in the petition. Beilke claimed Tuesday that the group could not even gather 500 signatures. “I don’t know of anyone who even saw the petition,” he said. But Murga said his group simply ran out of time. He blasted Beilke’s estimate of the number of signatures C-TIP was able to collect. “We have never stated how many signatures we gathered,” he said. “That goes to show his arrogance.” Beilke, who has been on the council for two years, said he believes C-TIP now has 120 days to collect the needed signatures. As part of the recall process, he said he was allowed to write up a rebuttal. He said he would not do so. “Let’s put it this way, I have seven days to put my response in to be published. I didn’t even bother responding before and I won’t bother responding this time,” he said. “I have city business to attend to.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! C-TIP claims the mayor should be removed for abuse of power and fiscal malfeasance. Murga said his group takes issue with Beilke over his support for newly rehired City Manager Chuck Fuentes and the City Council’s decision last year to close the Pico Rivera Stables. Beilke said he did not know why he was being recalled. “I don’t truly know what their reasons are, but whatever their reasons are are bogus and unfounded,” he said. It was C-TIP’s third recall attempt against the mayor. The first came to an anti-climatic end March 16, when C-TIP announced it had failed to collect the needed 5,109 voter signatures to force a special recall election. PICO RIVERA – A local political group has served Pico Rivera Mayor Ron Beilke for the third time with notice they plan to circulate a recall petition against him. Raul Murga, executive director of Pico Rivera Community for Truth in Politics – also known as C-TIP, said he served Beilke with the papers after Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The mayor showed no signs of worry Tuesday night. “It’s a waste of time like the previous two times were,” he said. “The residents absolutely ignore these people and they are happy with the progress we have been making and are more than willing to give this new council a chance. But these people \ have nothing better to do in life.”