Teachers to stay home to ‘reflect’ on budget day

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TTUTA president Antonia De Freitas –

THE Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association has asked its members to stay home on Monday as salary negotiations have stalled.

In an internal memo on Friday, TTUTA’s first vice president Marlon Seales said he is asking members to “once again to take time to reflect.

“On Monday September 26, 2022 (budget day), reflect on what a 2022 budget could mean on your 2014 salary.”

TTUTA was recently offered a four per cent increase in salaries, along with other trade unions, but rejected the offer. Since then, it has been calling on CPO Dr Daryl Dindial to meet with it to negotiate further, but to no avail.

Its first protest was on September 5, the first day of the 2022/2023 school year, where teachers also stayed home to “rest and reflect.”

The second was held Thursday with teachers only reporting to school for the second half of the day. Seales had told Newsday that 75 per cent of TTUTA’s members participated in that action.

He warned that if the CPO continued to ignore the association, further protests and “disruptions to the education system” will happen.

After thanking teachers for their support on Thursday, Seales added: “It pains me to report, however, that up to the recording of this expression of gratitude, the Office of the Chief Personnel Officer has not contacted the association to indicate when the dialogue between the negotiating teams would continue.”

But Seales said TTUTA will continue reaching out to the CPO’s office.

“As education professionals, we know that concepts are sometimes not grasped immediately, and our general council when planning for today’s event also planned for this eventuality.

“TTUTA stands ready, willing and able to continue negotiating in the boardroom or on the streets.”

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