Thursday, September 13, 2012

Teachers plan to take two days off; union tells parents to keep kids home

Some school children are having two unscheduled days off Thursday and Friday because the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has asked its members to stay away from their jobs. The action is to try to put pressure on government to settle all outstanding matters.

TTUTA says the teachers are staying away from school to "rest and reflect". However it amounts to a call for mass industrial action that is illegal. In reality employees are allowed to take time off if they are sick or if the leave is pre-scheduled but the idea of mass absenteeism violates those rules.

In addition it puts an extra burden on parents who must either make arrangements for supervising their children at home for two days or take time off from work to do it themselves.
JTUM issued a media release Wednesday telling parents to keep their children away from school.

"The children are the future of this nation and with the unchecked, spiralling crime rate we are calling on you, as responsible parents, to keep your children safe with you on those two days when teachers will not be there to watch over them," JTUM's statement read.

JTUM added: "Teachers cannot cope with the rising cost of living in 2012 on 2008 salaries. The CPO must stop the deliberate delay and negotiate in good faith towards a prompt, just settlement of teachers' salaries. The JTUM therefore blames the government, who instructs the CPO, for students not having teachers for those two days."

The discussions between TTUTA and the COP centre on the review of the methodology utilised since 2000 to determine the revised salaries in keeping with the terms of a Letter of Understanding signed on October 2, 2007, by the CPO and TTUTA.

TTUTA claims that the CPO is trying to distort and manipulate the process in order to impose small salary increases.

"Money spent on education is an investment in national development, especially in a period of economic diversification and recovery. Poor and non-competitive teacher salaries will lead to teacher shortages and a rapid deterioration in the quality of education in the nation's schools," TTUTA stated.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai