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Jun 4, 2021

Fonseca on Docking Salaries: “No Other Option”

Francis Fonseca

Data from schools’ managing authorities indicate about twenty-five to thirty percent of teachers participated in the strike action over the past month. But those industrial actions came to a screeching halt when the government began docking their pay. Education Minister Francis Fonseca says G.O.B. had no choice.


Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“I don’t think the government at all bested the teachers or the unions. This has been a long difficult period of consultations and it sound like a scratched record if you like – young people might not even know what is a record – but this is something that the government would never, ever have wanted to do. This has come about because we have absolutely no other option at this time. And as I keep saying, our objective is to keep this period of sacrifice to as short a time a possible. So we engaged in absolute good faith with the unions over many months; from February tenth, our first meeting. And at the end of the day, we presented to them what we felt was our best final offer in terms of some compensation as well as addressing mutually shared and agreed upon concerns that they had about governance and other issues. That was the decision of the Cabinet. And so we put that into that letter of undertakings, we met with the unions, we clarified issues that arose out of our discussions with the unions on that letter of undertakings. The Prime Minister again wrote to them with another letter of clarification and that really is where we are.”

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