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Nov 15, 2018

Orange Walk ITVET on Sit-Out!

Since Tuesday of this week, ITVET Orange Walk teachers have been on a sit-out. They have been showing up to school, but have not been teaching so the three hundred plus students have been sitting under a shed for the past two days. The sixteen teachers at the school say that they are not being paid their salaries by the Ministry of Education among a list of other issues that have gone unaddressed for far too long.  Today, Deputy Chief Education Officer Cecelia Ramirez Smith, a B.N.T.U. representative and the school’s management met for over three hours hoping to resolve the matter. Late this evening, teacher Luis Ramos, the spokesperson for the ITVET staff, spoke with the media to talk about the problems they have been facing for years. Principal among these matters is the fact that the teachers are contract workers and want to be made permanent staff.

 

Luis Ramos

Luis Ramos, Teacher, ITVET Orange Walk

“The issue is that we went on a sit-out because of some of the concerns that our staff had. The last resort was to have an audience with the relevant authorities which we had today.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are some of those concerns that you have been having?”

 

Luis Ramos

“Well among them – it is several of them but some of them are with issues regarding to salaries.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The salaries situation – just clarify for us – it is a matter that you guys weren’t receiving your salaries? Or is it that the salary was late?”

 

Luis Ramos]

“The whole issue of this is that we as teachers of the Orange Walk ITVET, and all teachers of the ITVET across the country, we are seen as contract officers and that has brought out the whole problem. So, we have offered solutions. We have offered solutions to the officials and we are saying that bring us into the permanent teaching status and I think that with that we will have all the problems resolved.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“But the problems – what exactly is the problem? You’re not clarifying for us what the issues are that you are facing?”

 

Luis Ramos

“The thing with the contracts and the lengthy process of how the salaries are disbursed.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, your salaries are essentially very late in coming?”

 

Luis Ramos

“Right. That is essentially what we are saying.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are there any other underlying issues that are going on at the school that you need the Ministry to look into?”

 

Luis Ramos

“Salaries is one. The status of the teachers. The retro-active salary adjustment that they were supposed to have had because most of our teachers are now possessing a Bachelor’s Degree and that itself was supposed to have given them a better salary and that has not happened. They finished from since December and up to today’s date they haven’t had any salary adjustments. So, that is another issue among other ones.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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