TTUTA tells teachers: Work half-day on Thursday

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


TTUTA president Antonia De Freitas.

THE Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has told teachers to report to work only for the second half of the school day on Thursday.

This, it said, is to protest the “continued disrespect” it is experiencing from Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Dr Daryl Dindial over wage negotiations.

On September 5, the first day of the 2022/2023 school year, many teachers followed TTUTA’s call to stay home to rest and reflect on the State’s treatment of the profession.

TTUTA was offered a four per cent increase in salaries, along with other trade unions, but rejected the offer.

It has since been calling on Dindial to meet with it to negotiate further.

On Wednesday, TTUTA first vice president Marlon Seales told Newsday the decision was made after a recent general council meeting.

At that meeting, it was decided that if Dindial did not respond by Monday, teachers would protest.

“We gave him a deadline to respond to our call for negotiations, and a response was not given.”

He said TTUTA had a meeting with the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) on Tuesday, “which revealed he probably didn’t do that with any of the public-sector trade union bodies.

“But TTUTA is seeing about itself.”

Asked if the protest would still be on if the union were to get a response by Thursday morning, Seales said yes.

“Because as a famous saying that I go by (says), ‘While you could choose the action, you can’t choose the consequence.’”

Asked if TTUTA had considered how this action will affect students, he said, “That’s part of the discussion of the general council.

“As much as we are cognisant of our work as professionals, we are also cognisant of our duty as education professionals, because we are not dealing with paper and pushing around paper, we are dealing with the youth and we are dealing with their potential.

“So we took that into consideration. And that’s why, before escalating, we are just signalling to remind the CPO what is the worth of teachers to our country.”

Seales said TTUTA’s actions will not end there if the CPO continues to ignore it.

“Because we are hoping we have a good, open, safe relationship with the office of the CPO, we are hoping we get a timely response so we won’t be forced into a position where we have to escalate and more disruption of the education system occurs.

“The working conditions of the teacher are the learning conditions of our students, and we have to make sure that the education system is in good stead.”

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