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The plight of temporary teachers

Marvin Andall - President of the Grenada Union of Teachers

President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Marvin Andall believes that temporary teachers would not lose out on payments due to them as a result at the slow pace at which a new contract was being processed for them to teach students.

“It appears that there are some challenges,” said Andall who was approached by THE NEW TODAY on the issue that was part of the discussion on the Social Media platform.

According to the reports in circulation, temporary teachers stand to lose some of their salaries due to the lack of a new contract from the Public Service Commission (PSC) which is the body responsible for hiring public officers.

Andall said that the re-appointment of some temporary teachers for the new school term which started on September 7 seemed to be rather late than normal as it appeared that the Ministry of Education was late in making the submissions to the PSC for these temporary teachers to be given their new contracts for engagement for their services.

In addition, the Commission was on holiday in August and because the Ministry of Education did not have its house in order, the PSC was not able to make the reappointment in time for the re-opening of school.

Andall also said that he senses that the PSC is very cautious in its dealings with the Ministry of Education, headed by senior government minister, Emmalin Pierre.

“PSC seems to be strict with Ministry of Education in particular because they seem to demand every bit of paper work in each instant. They (Education) seem to appear to be tardy and of course when that happens usually the blame is put on (school) principals – they are saying that principals didn’t submit the appraisals in time which may be true –in limited (circumstances) but the vast majority were ready so they could have gone with those that were ready if it was a situation where the appraisals were needed – you go with whose ones were ready and you don’t wait for the rest.

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Andall gave assurances that the affected temporary teachers will not lose the payments due to them.

“…What I understand is that they will receive their payments later than it should be received – that is the understanding that I am having,” he remarked.

However, the GUT President said that those temporary teachers who have not been re-appointed cannot look forward to any payments.

THE NEW TODAY was told that the life of most of the contracts ceased to exist at the end of August but the vast majority of temporary teachers are back since September although without a PSC contract as yet.

According to Andall, GUT is planning to hold a meeting within a matter of days with all temporary teachers to discuss a number of issues affecting them including the opportunity for upward mobility and attending the T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) to further their development.

“If you are temporary it puts you in a difficult situation and some of them have no right to be temporary. That is a major issue that in the next few weeks we will be dealing with in relation to the appointment of these teachers,” he said.

Andall stated that several of the temporary teachers in the system have served for more than 2 years and should now be appointed on a permanent basis in the profession.

Trade union officials have often stated that persons who occupy a position for at least two years are considered to be a permanent employee on the job.

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