Talks over: Members of the executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association leave the office of the Chief Personnel Officer after they agreed on wage settlements for teachers at St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, yesterday. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

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8%-10% hike for teachers

TTUTA, CPO settle wage negotiations:

By Camille Bethel camille.bethel@trinidadexpress.com

The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has negotiated an eight to ten per cent wage increase for teachers.

TTUTA and Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis settled on the wage increase for teachers around midday yesterday, after close to three years of negotiations.

Following the negotiations at the CPO's office at St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, president of TTUTA Roustan Job described negotiations for the period October 2008 to September 2011 as a fight.

"We are pleased to announce that a settlement has been arrived at. The agreement for teachers in the primary and secondary schools in grades three and four, respectively, will receive 83 and 82 per cent of full market salaries. This does not mean that they will get an 82 per cent increase, and this must be made clear," he said.

The parties have also agreed to a new Cost of Living Allowance of $125, $125, and $145 per month in years one to three of the agreement, respectively.

General secretary of TTUTA Peter Wilson added: "It is important to stress that TTUTA does not negotiate in terms of an overall percentage increase like a ten per cent or a nine per cent.

"We look in terms of comparing teachers' salaries and pulling them up to the labour market salary, so that is why we talk about the per cent of the market salary and 83 per cent in grade three and 82 per cent in grades four. That's where most of the classroom teachers are—in those grades. Overall when we look at it, it may be about eight and ten per cent because it is different grades."

Wilson said TTUTA had made considerable concessions this time around.

The salaries still have to be improved and TTUTA is going to look at that for the next round of negotiations.

The agreement between TTUTA and the CPO will be officially signed on Friday when the parties meet, and the rollout of the new salaries is expected in March 2013.

Job said: "Our teachers are very much excited for us to share this information with them and after this gruelling period of negotiations we are going to ask our teachers to continue to ensure that they produce very good work as we continue to build Trinidad and Tobago."

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