Darren Mattocks, who plays centre forward for Jamaica’s senior men’s national football team and scored in their 3-2 loss to Nicaragua in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers last Friday, believes all is not lost and the Reggae Boyz will bounce back. The 25-year-old netted in the first leg and has now scored 11 goals overall for Jamaica. He might just be thinking that his biggest test for his country could be tomorrow night. “To get back two goals, that’s definitely something we are going to build on and move forward. I am pretty confident we will learn and make all corrections and go to Nicaragua and get the job done,” he pointed out in a post-game interview late Friday night. Mattocks reasoned that the result would be seen as very disappointing by the Jamaican people, but maintained that the visitors played well, amid suggestions that the Reggae Boyz underestimated them or put in a lacklustre performance. SOMETHING TO LEARN FROM “I wouldn’t say we underestimated them, to be honest. Sometimes we don’t know what teams are capable of doing until we play them, and that’s what happened here tonight (Friday). I think they played well and surprised us. Many wouldn’t expect them to come into Kingston and defeat us, but it’s something that we learn from and we will continue growing,” he said. Tomorrow night inside the Estadio Nacional stadium in Managua, Jamaica must win or face elimination from yet another FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign. Getting a positive result in the return leg, Mattocks says, begins with thinking positive and working as a team. “They (Nicaragua) have got a good set of players, and they attack as a team, so that’s where their goals came from. Now we know that’s how they play, so now we are going to make all corrections and go forward,” he stressed. The player added that the upset was a lesson for the Reggae Boyz, “who have come a long way”, adding they are determined to continue. The match will kick off tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m.
The Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) is finalising its submission for another multi-year agreement which is expected to be ready next week.This is according to the General Secretary of the Union, Coretta McDonald during an interview with Guyana Times on Friday.She explained that the Union was initially hoping to have that proposal submitted before the end of December 2018, however, because of several reasons, the proposal will be submitted in the new week.When asked what those reasons were, the General Secretary pointed out that the Union is seeking to have all its members in the country when the document is sent to the Ministry. She also noted the importance of consultation on the figure withGTU General Secretary Coretta McDonaldteachers and the executive members of the Union.President of the Union, Mark Lyte was unreachable when this newspaper made contact with him, nonetheless, Lyte in a recent interview, was reluctant to reveal the percentage that the Union is looking forward to in the new agreement.He only said that the Union will find ways to justify its proposal.Things went haywire during the last bargaining process between the two parties which left children in empty classrooms as teachers resorted to the streets, calling for increased salaries.In fact, it was only last October that the GTU and the 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 for a 12 per cent increase for 2016 and eight per cent for 2018, Lyte said that the Union has learnt its lesson and is looking forward to brokering 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, 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 year 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 will 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).