Non-appointments a  major problem in teaching service – Otto Sam
July 28, 2017

Non-appointments a major problem in teaching service – Otto Sam

One of the major problems facing the teaching service is the appointment or rather non-appointment of teachers.

Otto Sam, the industrial relations and research officer of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU), expressed this view on Tuesday, during a media briefing at the union’s headquarters.

“In fact…teachers are exposed and being forced to take unfair, unreasonable, discriminatory and unlawful treatment in the way appointments and promotions are being handled,” Sam stated.

According to Sam, there are teachers who have had a first degree for nine years, but have not yet been appointed to a basic grade as a graduate teacher.

“That cannot be fair, that cannot be reasonable and that is clearly discriminatory,” the industrial officer stated.

He said there are qualified, dedicated and hard-working teachers who consistently apply for posts within the teaching service, but have to watch their juniors appointed to the post while they “languish” with their first and second degrees.

He said these teachers invested huge sums of money, took loans and neglected their families, churches and community to build themselves, based on the Government’s policy.

He said teachers who have first degrees and should be appointed as graduate teachers are being appointed to the post of teacher four (senior qualified assistant teacher).

Another cause for a concern, he said, is the number of graduate teachers who are not being paid in the correct salary scale or those whose degrees are not recognized by the Public Service Commission (PSC), even though their course of study was approved by the PSC.

“Not just that, but for two, three, four, five years, these teachers would have engaged the ear of the accreditation board and the accreditation board writes to the chief personnel officer and say hold on, this is the State that facilitated their training and now you cannot simply say to them you do not know how to pay them, you don’t recognize their degree,” he stated.

Sam suggested that the PSC provide avenues for these teachers to do additional training, so that they can be upgraded.

“… It almost amounts to the State conning its citizens and we, as a union, we find it objectionable…[it] is simply sad and needs to be correct[ed].”

Sam also said that there have been instances where teachers applied for leave, but because of poor communication, their salaries were deducted for staying away from work.

He stated that actions are afoot in an effort to remedy these issues.(CM)