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Log in for full access to stabroeknews. Com. An attempt by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) to have the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) compel the Guyana Court of Appeal to “urgently” adjudicate its application to prevent the closure of the East Demerara and Rose Hall sugar estates has been denied. The appointment of Trinidadian Larry Nath as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) has been greeted by an investigation from the  Guyana Securities Council (GSC). Ten years after a motorcycle accident left Triston Griffith fighting for his life, he now walks the wards of the Georgetown Public Hospital hoping that he can repay the numerous chances he has been given by saving lives. The National Assembly last evening approved over $8 billion in total budgetary allocations for 66 constitutional agencies even as the government’s failure to properly account for cuts to requested expenditure drew criticism. The government’s recent announcement of unilateral pay hikes for public servants for a third straight year has cast its campaign trail commitment to collective bargaining in doubt and veteran trade unionist Lincoln Lewis is urging unions to fight the necessary fight to keep the administration accountable. After being told to prepare for strike action over wages and salaries, teachers were yesterday asked to stand down “for now” as their union is set to engage in discussions on Monday with President David Granger and Minister of Finance Winston Jordan.

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Breaking its week-long silence on the government’s announced imposition of wage hikes for public servants, the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) yesterday said it was “betrayed” by the David Granger-led administration and union president Patrick Yarde declared that only “significantly stepped up militancy” will change the workers’ destiny of “peppercorn salaries” and “unacceptable conditions of service”. Although Sherod Duncan has been one of the most vocal proponents for accountability and transparency since his election to the Georgetown city council, he admits that he may have failed to adhere to the high standards he has set. One day after saying that there was not enough evidence for the administration to act, Town Clerk Royston King yesterday dismissed the constabulary officer who is accused of sexually abusing a juvenile in the custody of City Constabulary for misconduct. After four hours of intense debate, the Georgetown City Council yesterday voted by majority to continue the metered parking system with concessionaire Smart City Solutions (SCS), pending a renegotiation of the controversial contract with the company.

Some APNU+AFC members of the Georgetown City Council who earned their seat through the Constituency system have told Stabroek News that they are prepared to end the life of the Metered Parking contract when the council meets today. At 97, Nicola Clement is both a mother and grandmother who has spent years supporting and celebrating the academic achievements of those around her. Twenty-six students in the top one percent of the 67,689 who sat this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certification (CSEC) examinations earned 67 or more Grade I passes, with half of them, including the top performer, coming from Queen’s College (QC). Michael Bhopaul, 66, doesn’t know if he is this year’s best performer at    the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) Examinations, but with preliminary results showing that he has obtained passes in 75 subjects, he will be hard to top.

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For a little more than an hour yesterday, the streets outside the Mackenzie Market rang with the voices of dozens of Linden residents who turned out to support a march against homosexuality. Today at 7 pm the 85 councillors of the Georgetown City Council will once again cast a vote on the future of metered parking in the city and several of them have told Stabroek News that they want to be sure their vote accurately represents a mandate from residents. After finding that concessionaire Smart City Solutions (SCS) vastly inflated estimates of its capital investment in the Georgetown metered parking project, the Mayor and City Council’s Negotiating Committee has warned against proceeding with the venture without a renegotiation of the contract. Chairman of the Guyana National Broadcasting Authority (GNBA) Leslie Sobers yesterday said that broadcasters who fear revocation of licences should be more concerned about the content they air than with the provisions of the recently passed amendments to the broadcast legislation.

Just after 5 pm yesterday, Professor Ivelaw Griffith took his seat as the Tenth Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Guyana (UG) to the tune of trumpet fanfare. The National Assembly last night passed the landmark Tobacco Control Bill 7567 which will target smoking in indoor public places and ban advertising of tobacco products. Despite the lessons that should have been learned from last year’s deadly fire at the Camp Street prison, witnesses say both the Guyana Fire Service and Guyana Water Inc (GWI) were not prepared for the fire that devastated the jail on Sunday. There was a sharp rise in the Mathematics performance at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) and improvements in the three other subject areas, according to the results released yesterday, but more than 55% of the 68,879 pupils who wrote the exams were still unable to pass three of the four subjects taken.

A proposal by the Ministry of Education (MoE) to limit the number of subjects students can sit at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination may have found favour with the Guyana Teachers Union but former Minister of Education Priya Manickchand says that it is ill thought out and dumb. By Thandeka Percival and Dreylan Johnson There is unlikely to be any change this year to the 69% Value Added Tax (VAT) being applied on private school tuition fees, according to Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who made the position clear yesterday when government ministers engaged stakeholders in a discussion on the measure at the National Cultural Centre. From April 6, 7567, former PNC Prime Minister Hamilton Green is expected to start receiving almost $6. 5 million a month in pension payments and other benefits after the government used its parliamentary majority last evening to pass a controversial bill to confer him with the package.

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