Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) Stuart Johnson minced no words by conveying, “I am profoundly saddened by the overall handling of the vacation allowance payment affecting subsidized school board employees.”
He further expounded, “The precedence set by Government and the clear inequity it has caused is truly affecting the quality of education in our country,” Johnson said.
On July 8, the WITU participated in a meeting with school boards and the Minister of Education, Drs. Rudolph Samuel. Subsequently, the WITU and school boards also had a virtual meeting.
Johnson added the apparent conclusion: “Government seemingly wants to recuse itself from the debacle and place the matter exclusively to the discretion of the subsidized school boards.”
Johnson questions, “if you have not touched the subsidy yet, what message do you send school boards without removing future liability?”
“I strongly implore the relevant authorities to figure it out and make the payment without any pay cut whatsoever,” Johnson empathically stated.
Johnson further disclosed that the board is busy with legal counsel for the next steps forward.
“I will continue to be fully transparent with my membership, inclusive of all facets of this ongoing unnecessary saga facing them,” Johnson said.
WITU will be meeting with its membership to update them on all circumstances regarding the payment of the vacation allowance very soon.
“I need to speak to my members; their mandate will determine the next steps taken,” Johnson concluded.