TTUTA has valid grounds to be mad at 4% offer says trade unions

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TTUTA has valid grounds to be mad at 4% offer says trade unions

The call by the TT Unified Teachers Association’s (TTUTA) for teachers to remain home and reflect on the first day of school of Monday, has received the full backing of trade unions.

The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM), National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (FITUN), in a joint press release, condemned the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) and the Government for their “disregard for the established methodology used for negotiations with TTUTA.”

The last offer made by the CPO was a four per cent wage increase with no consolidation of COLA. TTUTA has said it does not negotiate on percentages on but on a labour market survey approach.

The trade unions noted that, “They are simply repeating the same offer made to all unions with no consideration for the reality of current living conditions or market conditions. TTUTA has valid grounds for saying that negotiations are not being conducted in good faith.”

“Furthermore, this brinkmanship displayed by the government and the CPO will have consequences for the nation’s children. Teachers already dip into their own pockets for school supplies. How will these necessary expenses be funded when the government is in fact cutting into real salaries? Neither the Minister of Finance nor the Minister of Education is showing any concern for the quality of education delivered. The heartless focus on cost-cutting over the well-being of the teachers and students can only yield even lower results.”

It said teachers should be treated with dignity and respect, and since, according to TT’s first Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams, ‘the future of our country is the children’s book bag,’ it was Government’s responsibility to “fulfil its duty” to the country’s teachers and students.