Teachers take to the streets

PORT OF SPAIN — Teachers were expected to take to the streets of Port-of-Spain today in protest against the latest offer by Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis.

Vice-president of the T&T Unified Teachers Association, Davanand Sinanan, called for all teachers from primary, secondary and preschools to take part in the march. Lewis’ latest offer is an overall increase of eight per cent, while the union is asking for approximately 13 per cent.

The first offer by the CPO was between four and six per cent which was rejected by the teachers. Sinanan said the TTUTA would meet with the CPO tomorrow for a new collective agreement for the period October 2008 to September 2011.

There was a high level of teacher absenteeism at both primary and secondary schools last week Thursday and Friday, as teachers took time off to “rest and reflect”.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Sinanan said TTUTA expected a big turnout for today’s protest.

“We are hoping we will be able to demonstrate to the CPO and employer that there are thousands of teachers who are incensed and angry over the offer. This is not just the head of TTUTA saying this. It is a statement coming from the mass of teachers,” he said.

“All teachers are expected there, all members of TTUTA, primary and secondary even preschools — principals, teachers and everybody.”

However, up to late yesterday, TTUTA was seeking permission from authorities to march. The teachers were expected to assemble on the Brian Lara Promenade around noon between Chacon and Abercromby Streets, Port-of-Spain. (Guardian)

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