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Aggrieved teachers take day of rest

PORT OF SPAIN — The T&T Unified Teachers’ Association has described the Chief Personnel Officer’s wage offer of four to six per cent as “vexatious and insulting”.

And in response, TTUTA called on its members to rest and reflect today in protest. Union officials yesterday urged parents to ensure the safety and care of their children.

Teachers “rested and reflected” in September over the CPO’s delay in concluding negotiations for 2008-2011. The union also protested in 2011 over the CPO’s failure to use an External Labour Market survey as the tool for determining salary increases for teachers.

TTUTA’s president Roustan Job, first vice-president Devanand Sinanan and Peter Wilson, general secretary, issued the call to teachers yesterday during a media briefing at TTUTA’s office in Curepe. They said the union and its members were prepared to take action next week and in the weeks ahead if an acceptable offer is not made by the CPO.

TTUTA officials said teachers would accompany the association to a meeting with the CPO.

“We are confronted with a CPO who is bent on frustrating the process and has not made life easier for us at all,” Job said. “We will always submit that the working conditions of the teacher are the learning conditions of the learner.”

The officials said the union was not asking for a fixed percentage but an increase based on the results of the ELM. They described the CPO’s offer as ridiculous since negotiations in other sectors have resulted in nine per cent or more increases.

Agricultural Development Bank workers received an increase of nine per cent on Wednesday. Job said the general council of TTUTA, now dubbed the war council, met up to 10 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss their next step, which resulted in the decision to rest and reflect. (Guardian)

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