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MINISTRY ATTEMPTS TO BULLY TEACHERS

posted 15 May 2012, 15:37 by Gerry Kangalee
  TTUTA condemns the Ministry of Education (MOE) for its attempts to bully teachers into attending
its ill-advised training programme on the Continuous Assessment Component of the SEA, which
attempts to trample on the terms and conditions of service of teachers.  
 
Today, Monday May 14, most teachers of Standards Four and Five in the Primary Schools heeded
the call of the Association and reported to their schools and classes as usual, rather than
participate in this ill-conceived training programme, which would lead to a severe loss of teaching
time and disruption in all primary schools over the next two (2) months. 
 
Consequent upon this action of teachers, some principals and school supervisors attempted to
intimidate teachers by making adverse entries in the Schools’ Log Books on the matter. Further,
some school supervisors have been instructing principals, under pain of disciplinary action for
‘gross misconduct’, not to allow such teachers who attend school to sign the Teachers’ Attendance
Register and report for duty. 
  
TTUTA notes that any such attempt to prevent teachers from reporting for duty amounts to a
lockout and constitutes illegal industrial action under the Industrial Relations Act. TTUTA will
repulse any such lockout and would not hesitate to use the strongest legal measures against the
MOE in this eventuality. It must also be stressed that principals and teachers cannot be accused
of gross misconduct for refusing to carry out an unlawful order. 
 
The Association expects that the MOE would be aware of the dangers of this approach and ensure
that its officers do not contravene the provisions of the law. The Association cautions that this
approach could also lead to unnecessary conflict and disaffection between teachers and their
principals. It must be a source of considerable concern and dismay that teachers could face
possible threat of sanction because they performed their duties at their official place of work for
which they have been employed. 
  
The MOE’s failure to plan properly for this programme and failure to consult at all with the
Association have fatally undermined this programme. As well, the Association has already
expressed its grave doubts about the adequacy, thoroughness and effectiveness of this ‘crash’
training programme, which would achieve nothing except disrupt the primary schools for the
months of May and June and satisfy the political expediency demands of the Minister of Education.

TTUTA once more demands proper consultation and agreement with the Association on any
proposed training programme for teachers, especially where it infringes on the terms and
conditions of service of teachers, which are negotiated between the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO)
and TTUTA.

Further, TTUTA calls for proper consultation with TTUTA, other stakeholders and the entire
national community on fundamental changes in education policy. Education is not the private
property of the Minister of Education! 
 
TTUTA reiterates its repulsion of attempts by the MOE to intimidate teachers into attending this
poorly-conceived training programme on the Continuous Assessment Component of the SEA.
Further, TTUTA cautions that it stands ready to overrun any attempt to impose punitive measures
on teachers who attend school on the days of the training programme. 

 
PETER WILSON

GENERAL SECRETARY

May 14, 2012
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