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Allowances paid to graduate teachers will be part of their retirement benefits – PM

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Graduate teachers who have not been appointed can now expect the allowances they receive to be counted in relation to their retirement benefits.{{more}}

This announcement was made by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves during a sitting of Parliament, last Thursday.

Gonsalves explained that because of the large number of teachers pursuing university degrees, approximately 60 per cent of teachers in some schools qualify as graduate teachers; however, there are not enough posts available for them.

“We have so many teachers who are now graduates, for instance in the primary school, about 60 per cent of them, but we don’t have enough posts as graduate teachers; but they are paid a graduate allowance, but they are anxious to be appointed as graduate teachers,” he said.

The Prime Minister, who stated that the graduate teacher’s salary is comprised of the non graduate salary and a graduate allowance, noted that teachers are worried that the allowance is not being counted toward their retirement benefits.

“I want to announce …that graduate teachers who are not appointed as graduate teachers, but who receive graduate allowances, they would have these allowances as part of their emoluments for the purposes of retirement benefits and the law would be accordingly amended,” Gonsalves said.

In addition, Gonsalves is also seeking to have this matter rectified for other teachers who would have served in senior positions, but did not receive retirement benefits.

“I want to say that…I have been trying very much to have a list of persons who have assisted schools, but who have not been employed by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who have served for many many years and they go home without any retirement benefit; just the national insurance,” he said.

Gonsalves revealed that he has asked the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance to create a list of these persons and that although it is proving to be difficult; he is determined to have the situation remedied.(BK)

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