Missing the water……after shutting the well downFaced with a PNC Government that had promised them milk and honey on the hustings, but once ensconced in office gave them ‘salt biscuit and water’, the teachers of Guyana now (bitterly) concede they never had it so good but under the PPP. Like your Eyewitness (initially), they figured the Government most of them had voted for would just put on a show about not being able to afford the raise the Government’s own task Force had recommended.And that, after a suitable period, would cough up, ‘cause the PNC would need their votes in 2020. But the mask of reasonableness that Granger put on when he visited their Head Office back on Labour Day has been ripped off after they went on strike. They’ve been forced to admit that while the annual 5% the PPP gave them might’ve seemed paltry at the time, combined with the fringe benefits of clothing allowance, duty free car allowance etc, they could live much better than before.But time moves on…and while the cost of living inexorably inches upwards, so do the appetites of the mouths that have to be fed! Teachers had to be particularly irked by the Junior Minister in the Labour Department of the Ministry of Social Protection calling them “selfish and uncaring” because they exercised their constitutional right to demand a living wage. Wasn’t it President Granger who’d declared that, in his administration, teachers would become the HIGHEST paid public servants??If, as public servants, Cabinet Ministers could justify a 50 percent salary increase, why would a 40 percent increase for teachers be so outrageous? Even after a 40 percent jump (if it ever comes), NOT A SINGLE TEACHER OR HEADTEACHER would be getting HALF of Junior Minister Scott’s monthly $700,000!! The Education Minister says it would cost $4billion to meet the teachers’ demand; but the teachers are saying to the PNC, just come back with a realistic offer and not the ridiculous “ball park” figure of $0.7billion, which is ONE-SIXTH of what the teachers are asking for!The Opposition Leader has shown that the budget has all sorts of “sport” and “frivolities” — such as parades — from where the money can be sourced. How can the PNC Government justify circuses when teachers – who’ll have to mould the minds of the next generation — have to scrounge for a living?? But the PNC Government has drawn its line in the sand. Like Burnham did with the sugar workers’ strike for recognition in 1976, Granger has now brought in scabs to break the teachers’ strike.All Guyana has to get behind our teachers. Today it’s them, tomorrow it will be us!Let’s us draw our line!!…when they go overseasMinister Lawrence says Guyana needs another 1000 nurses, and blames the high migration from that profession to the greener pastures abroad. But there’s nothing new about this, is there? Migration of skilled workers isn’t confined to nurses; teachers also have been moving out, as have all other tertiary-trained workers – including doctors! And it all boils down to those “green” pastures which, in this modern age, are “greenbacks”!And it’s not only salaries. For nurses and doctors, they work under the most primitive conditions — which have to be improved if we ever hope to keep them. It’s a good thing that NYTimes reporter didn’t go inside our “Clapboard” hospital buildings, or else he’d think it was Florence Nightingale working during the Crimean War!! How can nurses and doctors care for patients when the latter are packed two to a bed and the x-ray machine is on the fritz??If after getting 500+ Cuban-trained doctors we still need to train Medexes, something’s really rotten in the state of our medical staffing.Migration’s only the symptom!…when you’ve failed in the courtsAccording to the headline, AG Williams said the “Govt ‘more inclined to arbitration’ in bid to recover US$5M for GT&T shares.” Why not conciliation?If the latter’s good for teachers, why not for the Government?