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Teachers, remember we are facing hard economic times

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Fri Feb 20, 2015

Editor: The seeking of 20 million dollars in compensation for not getting salary increases since 2011 would be welcomed by most teachers. However, let us be realistic in this situation. I am aware that teachers are very important persons; so are other categories of workers.{{more}}

The salaries of teachers in this country, when compared to many Caribbean countries, are high. So far, teachers have been receiving the most increases, plus they are receiving vacations three times per year, along with their long leave, when requested.

I am left to wonder what is the rationale behind the Teachers Union seeking such a compensation and also why are they expecting an increase every year. There are other categories of workers and civil servants who don’t get salary increases yearly and are not as well paid as teachers.

It is hard economic times and there are other areas that are in dire need of some financial help. To give the teachers their request will mean that other civil servants too will request the same. It would also mean that there would be a cutback on employment.

Come to think of it, that 20 million dollars can assist in paying persons to teach adult education and CCSLC in the prisons, both at Belle Isle and Kingstown, where teachers are needed, but the prison lacks the financial resources to pay tutors. Some of these monies can also be used to pay the few persons who volunteer their time in teaching adult education.

Last year, inmates from the BELLE ISLE CORRECTIONAL CENTRE wrote both Maths and English for CXC CCSLC and received 100 pass marks and this year they are doing Social Studies, Integrated Science and Woodwork for the same CXC CCSLC. Organizers would like these programmes to be done at the Kingstown institution, but there is a lack of finance. Thus, I recommend that part of that 20 million dollars be spent on those areas and other much needed areas.

Teachers are well paid in this country and should be willing to recognize the hard economic times in which we live and thus should not be calling for compensation.

Let us be realistic and consider that the overall development of your children and also the other classes of workers in this country. Think of those who for years have given voluntary service and continue to do so and have not sought compensation. But they are willing to serve.

Kennard King

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