Teachers left without pay

Over one hundred and fifty teachers through out the island have been left without a salary for September.

This was told to THE NEW TODAY last week Thursday by President of the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Lydon Lewis who did an exclusive interview with the newspaper.

According to Lewis, the reason given to GUT by the Ministry of Education is that the Public Service Commission (PSC) did not process all appointments into the service and that some teachers in both the Primary and Secondary schools were left out.

He said this is creating financial and economic setbacks for the affected teachers.

“Some of the teachers have family commitments and commitments to financial institutions.  A number of teachers have been in the system for 10 years and this is the first time in a while they have this experience,” he remarked.

“Teachers who are attending Teacher’s College had to pay their second half of their tuition last month and had to ask TAMCC for an extension but I don’t know how long TAMCC will keep the extension,” he said.

Lewis disclosed that the affected teachers were supposed to get the outstanding monies last Friday but this did not happen.

“Two Fridays ago, we were told it’s going to be October 3rd but now we are hearing the 10th. Based on what I know it may take a little longer than that,” he added.

Lewis stressed that if teachers do not get the monies by October 15 then he could safely say that they will not be getting paid for the month of October.

The system used by the Ministry of Finance to process monthly payments to civil servants have stipulated deadlines for salary slips to be made up to enable payments.

Lewis said GUT had asked the Ministry to send letters to the schools explaining the situation to teachers, which was done, and what was said in the letters is that the ministry was experiencing technical difficulties.

The cash-strapped Keith Mitchell-led government has not been meeting its financial commitments to most of the island’s creditors and was forced to implement a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) to tackle a grave fiscal crisis.

Lewis said he is not sure about the way forward, stating that the situation would have to be assessed and that a decision will have to be taken by GUT on the next move.

He warned that it is not right for persons to be working and are not able to meet their financial commitments including paying the buses to take them to work and back home.

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