President of the Grenada Union of Teachers, Lydon Lewis has pushed back against a threatening press statement issued by Education Minister Emmalin Pierre.
The release followed the Union’s decision to have teachers absent themselves from the classrooms, to rest and reflect.
It’s a form of protest action to register their discontent with the 2 percent gratuity payment proposal being offered by the government.
Education Minister Emmalin Pierre said in a press statement dated November 7th that all teachers, were required to report to work on Wednesday.
She cautioned that staying away from the classrooms was a breach of the Labour Relations Act and the collective agreement between Government and the Grenada Union of Teachers, the GUT.
The release also said that workers who followed what it termed the “unlawful directive of the President of the GUT, run the risk of not being paid for the period of time they do not report to work.
President of the GUT Lydon Lewis labelled this as an act of “harassment” by the Minister.
According to the Union, an agreement was reached with the Government Negotiating Team on a 25% gratuity for public officers upon retirement, together with pension benefits for persons who entered the public service on a definitive or permanent basis as of April 4, 1983.
The unions have now accused the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration of going back on the promise of a 25% gratuity in the MOU and now reducing it to 2%.
The Union announced plans to meet on Thursday to plan their next course of action.