TTUTA to meet on CPO offer
Tuesday, November 13 2012
THE General Council of the TT Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) will meet tomorrow to discuss the latest offer by the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) at last Friday’s negotiation meeting for a new collective agreement for the period October 2008 to September 2011.
TTUTA officials yesterday said the CPO was “squeezing” the wage increases for teachers.
Commenting on last Friday’s meeting with CPO Stephanie Lewis, TTUTA general secretary Peter Wilson said, “we are not satisfied with the progress from the last session. Two years and nine months of talks and the CPO is still squeezing small increases, while it is not a percentage thing, the figure works out to be five or six percent.”
He said the market survey of the jobs to be used as comparators was completed but agreement on whether the teachers would get 100 percent of the market value or less was being negotiated.
“In the last negotiation we got 100 percent of the market value for teachers in Grade Three and Four, but less for others. The fight is always about how much of the market salary the CPO will pay. She is putting forward a proposed settlement salary. What she has put forward is unsatisfactory.” Wilson said the teachers who have retired this year or will retire are interested in the outcome of the negotiation since the pension and gratuity they receive are based on their last salary. The absence of a settlement also delays any increase they would receive. When a settlement is reached.
Wilson said the pension and gratuity would have to be recalculated by the Pension and Leave section for teachers retiring within the negotiation period.
However, the CPO could offer zero percent in the first year. “The CPO will try and pay as little arrears as possible,” Wilson said. TTUTA is hoping to conclude negotiations on wages before the end of November. The CPO and union have been meeting every Friday and had more than 60 meetings over the past two years. Apart from salaries non-cost items also have to be negotiated and settled. In 2010 TTUTA submitted its proposals for allowances and other terms in the agreement.