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TTUTA waits on CPO, threatens protest

Thursday, September 23 2010

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) is threatening protest action if Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis does not begin negotiations for the October 2008- September 2011 collective agreement period.

“Our patience is wearing thin. Two years have passed and we have not gone to the table and therefore we want to send this message loud and clear that teachers are fed up of waiting for negotiations to begin and we have reached the end of our tether and therefore we will have to signal that to the powers that be,” TTUTA president Roustan Job said yesterday at a press conference held at the Teacher’s Credit Union, Maraval Road, Port-of-Spain.

He said if they receive no response, TTUTA will hold a general council meeting by the end of the month to decide their next step which may include demonstrations.

TTUTA vice-president Orville Carrington said TTUTA had submitted proposals to the CPO since October last year but received no response as yet as to when negotiations will begin. He said the CPO and TTUTA agreed to set-up a subcommittee which will compare salaries in the external labour market to the salary received by teachers.

This was done, he said, to bring teachers’ salaries to the same level as that being paid outside the teaching service. He said this team is doing preparatory work to begin this process.

The union, Carrington said, also asked the CPO for a general negotiation meeting to deal with other issues.

“The response was that negotiations will be initiated by a statement from the Finance Ministry which is something we query because the Finance Ministry has never been involved in negotiations, it was always the CPO we have dealt with. We cannot subscribe to that,” he said.

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