After four hours of deliberation on Wednesday 14th November, the General Council of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) has decided on a campaign of direct action to force the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) to shift her position in her negotiations with TTUTA. The union has described the CPO’s position as “insulting”.
The teachers’ union was reacting to the latest provocative proposals from the CPO in their negotiations for a contract period which expired in 2011 and for which talks have been going on since March 2010.
The CPO, according to TTUTA, has offered what amounts to 4.7 to 6.4%. The CPO argues that:
“Appropriate” inter-grade differential of grades 3 and 4 must be sought and insists that existing inter grade differentials between all other grades must be maintained;
Appropriate salary differential between the salary of the Chief Education Officer (CEO) and the final point on the Grade 8 scale must be maintained. Her figures indicate a salary differential of 41% between the CEO and the Grade 8 maximum. The CEO position is the next higher position not represented by TTUTA. The salary of the CEO is set by the Salaries Review Commission and serves as a cap on teachers’ salaries.
The CPO continues to talk about affordability and sustainability as if she were the Minister of Finance.
TTUTA has proposed what can amount to approximately 16% after closure of the Gap.
In TTUTA’s proposal, the salary differential between the CEO and the maximum of Grade 8 is 22%.