Knowing your union
The Government Teachers Union (GTU) is ranked amongst the most structured Unions in the country. Governed under the laws of Mauritius and a well-defined constitution, all procedures and decisions are taken in accordance with the constitution,GTU is run by an executive council of seventeen members who are elected every two years at the AGM, on a one-man one-vote basis. At the elections, members are asked to vote for a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, 12 council members and 2 auditors. After elections the 15 elected members are allowed to co-opt 2 more members to form part of the committee for a period of one year. After one year these co-opted members can be replaced or their election renewed. The elected members, come from all over the island, each one is responsible for a specific region or zone. They are in permanent contact with the school delegates, who report to them problems arising at a specific school. The regional members try to solve problems at school level with the head teacher or at the level of the zone inspectorate. If no solutions are found the matter goes to the GTU office, where the President, Secretary and Treasurer, who are there everyday, try to find solutions at higher levels. To run the day-to-day affairs of the union a Bureau is set-up. This Bureau comprises of the President, the Deputy President, the Vice President, the Secretary and the Treasurer. These five persons are responsible to take decisions concerning the daily activities of the union. Major decisions are taken in the executive council consisting of all the 17 members. In both bodies decisions are taken by a majority of members. To facilitate contact with grass root members, the GTU has a well-defined delegate system. These delegates are chosen at each and every school. Schools having less than 5 members elect one delegate and those having 5 or more elect two delegates. These delegates act as school representatives for the Union. They help in circulating union publications among members, report problems to the Regional Council Members or the GTU office. They also participate in delegates meetings to voice the opinion of members at their school regarding major issues and take decisions at the meetings. Between AGMs other meetings are also held:
- Delegates’ meetings where decisions are taken on important issues
- Delegates’ conference for consultation and information
- Special General meeting on written requests from members to discuss a particular issue.
- Mass meetings to sensitise members on issues
- Regional meetings to inform members about new issues.
The Council operates at its registered head office found at 2, Mgr Gonin Street Port-Louis, where a full time Administrative secretary is present to help members. The Union communicates with members at school through:
Telephone 208 0047 and Fax 208 4943
Facebook forum group (GTU Mauritius), Website(www.gtumauritius.com),E-mail, Circular letters, Newspapers, Seminars, Press conference, and regular contacts through school visits.
One very important function of the GTU is to make representations to the PRB in connection with salary revision exercises and conditions of service. Members expect a lot from these representations and any wrong move is at the detriment of one and all.. The Union also negotiates with the employer on behalf of members on matters such as transfers, leaves and other grievances. Memoranda are also submitted to the Ministry of Finance before presentation of the annual budget.When negotiation fails, the union has recourse to industrial actions such as protest marches, street demonstrations and strike. It also declares disputes to the employer and the ministry of Civil Service Affairs.