Guyana Teachers Union President Mark Lyte on Tuesday during a brief interview with Guyana Times said that whether or not elections are held in three months’ time, the Union will go forward to present its proposal to the functioning Government for a salary increase.Lyte said, “I hope that the election process does not affect our proposal. In fact we are trying to submit the document and have it discussed before that time comes (elections)”.Elections are likely to be held in 2019 following the collapse of the GovernmentGTU President, Mark Lyteafter a vote of no-confidence was passed when its own party member Charrandas Persaud voted for it on December 21, 2018.According to the President of the Union, the members would have met to conduct its General Council meeting back in December, 2018, where it was decided that other members of the GTU would be consulted before the Union makes the submission of the salary proposal to the Education Ministry.While being careful not to divulge anything specific in the document, he disclosed that the GTU is seeking more benefits this year, as many were not granted last year. The union president noted that a few of the old benefits will reappear in this year’s proposal to the Ministry.Things went haywire during the last bargaining process between the Government and the Union which left children in empty classrooms as teachers resorted to the streets, calling for increased salaries.It was only late in last October that the GTU and Education Ministry came to an agreement with regards to teachers’ salary, an impasse that lasted several weeks.As the agreement was inked on October 24, 2018 for a 12 per cent increase for 2016 and eight per cent for 2018, Lyte had said that the Union has learnt its lesson and is looking forward to broker a better agreement come 2019.Moreover, the GTU President pointed out that the Union has “learnt so many lessons” and is now better prepared for the next bargaining process with the Education Ministry.He explained that he believes the agreement made will better satisfy teachers and their families and even result in classrooms being better serviced. On the other hand, the General Secretary of the GTU during an exclusive interview with this publication said she believes the Union should have been more diligent in its doings. She stated, “As a Union we needed to do a little more work, we needed to be a little more diligent in what we were doing, but it’s a learning experience and come 2019 our teachers, if it’s going to be a three years or a five years agreement, our teachers will see many more benefits coming their way”.“Those teachers who would have felt neglected over the past years and they weren’t being able to gain access to their benefits I want to say to them rest assure GTU has been there for you, we will continue to be there for you and your benefits are intact,” she added. A 40 per cent salary increase for public school teachers was initially proposed for the year 2016. Over time, the percentage would be increased for all categories of represented teachers. For the year 2017, the Union was hoping to have bargained for a 45 per cent increase, which would then increase to 50 per cent for the remainder of the years indicated in the agreement (2018-2020).