The T&T Unified Teachers’ Association says teachers are unhappy with the 2022/2023 Budget, as the increase in fuel prices makes it even more difficult for them to survive.
TTUTA president Antonia Tekah De-Freitas made the comment on Tuesday as she staged a one-woman protest outside the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain.
Holding a placard with the message, “Teachers have children too,” Tekah De-Freitas said many teachers have been unable to cope with the rising cost of living.
“How do we expect our educators to survive on that when they have to travel from Sangre Grande to Palo Seco to teach? When they have to travel from Valencia to Rio Claro to teach. When they have to feed their families and continue to prop up the system,” she said.
With the union’s members prevented from taking industrial action by an injunction filed by the Ministry of Labour on Sunday evening, Tekah De-Freitas said she was more than willing to carry on the fight alone.
She added that all teachers are entitled to leave and day-offs from their job.
“Our leave entitlement is enshrined in the law. And so that cannot be interfered with and we are looking forward to that part of the matter being addressed properly when the matter is heard,” she said.
Both Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Finance Minister Colm Imbert, in separate accounts on Monday, said Government could not afford more than the proposed four per cent wage offer to public servants.
But Tekah De-Freitas believes that with the recent Budget, the plight of teachers continues to be unfairly ignored. She said the executive will meet soon to decide on the next course of action. However, she said teachers will wear their union colours every Tuesday in protest.
“We cannot and will not allow our rights, our legal rights and entitlements to be taken away from us, to be infringed upon. And so as president, I am starting this charge and standing here for however long it takes, doing it however many times I need to do it to get the state and to get the public to understand our teachers deserve better.”