WITU proposes adjustments to Salary Scales

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Stuart Johnson President of the Windward Island Teachers Union (WITU)

 

— Laptops should be delivered soon —

Philipsburg – The board of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU) submitted a proposal for an adjustment to the Salary Scales of employees in Education.

“The fight continues to ensure Education is truly prioritized in our Country as teachers should be respected and not be neglected,” remarked Stuart Johnson President of the WITU.

Johnson submitted the proposal addressed to the Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on Friday, 24th February 2023. Before the submission of the proposal to the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Johnson presented it during a Committee for Civil Servants Unions (CCSU) meeting last week.

The proposal of WITU states, “Educators form the foundation of civilization. They serve as mentors for young people, provide direction and commitment, and empower them via education. Teachers enable nations to further their social and economic development. While they are frequently praised as heroes deserving of acclaim, teachers are not adequately recognized in St. Maarten.”

Furthermore, Teachers should be recognized for their hard work and be promoted for their years of service.

Considering:

  • That the Teachers function house has very little to no real room for mobility due to the limited functions.
  • That the majority of teachers enter to education labor market around an average age of 22/23.
  • That the current salary scale structure has not been revised for more than a decade.
  • That the current salary scale was created during a time that teachers could go on pension at age 60, after 30 years in the system on a full pension or on VUT (Early pension).
  • That as of 2020 the Old age pension is no longer added on top of the accumulated teachers’ pension.
  • That since 2010 the pension age has increased from 60 to 62 and then to 65.
  • That the opportunity to go on pension after 30 years with your full pension is no longer afforded to teachers.
  • That teachers on average remain 35-45 years in the education system.
  • Considering that in 2008 it was agreed for teachers to be able to move horizontally, yet this is not being applied.
  • That the WITU encourages its members as much as possible to continue to educate themselves and apply for new functions when vacant.

Proposes:

  • To add up to 10 extra “trede” to the current Government salary scale that is used for teachers.
  • To allow persons who have reached their max in their current scale to move 1 additional “trede” every 2 years after receiving consecutive positive evaluations (or No evaluation).

“I received and deeply appreciate the unanimous support of the entire CCSU as this proposal serves as a major motivation for educators. Furthermore, I trust the full support of the Government will be granted for the sake of prioritizing Education,” Johnson added.

Johnson also followed up on the promised laptops by the Ministry of Education (ECYS) by stating, “I hope the promised digital devices will be distributed shortly enabling teachers to function more efficiently.”

“There are simply too many concerns within Education, I have repeatedly requested that WITU be actively involved at all times enabling proactive decisions to be taken and not reactive,” Johnson concluded