Non-payment prompts questions about Academy School Board

POSTED: 07/7/11 2:29 PM

St. Maarten – Teachers at all but the St. Maarten Academy, which falls under the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (Fave), have received the full 5.3 percent Cost of Living Adjustment on their June 2011 Vacation Allowance payment and the additional 3.3 percent back payment of Cost of Living Adjustment with their regular June salary. The back payment is retroactive to January 2011, per an agreement signed earlier this year.

The teachers at the Academy have informed their union – the Windward Islands Teachers Union (Witu) – that they did not get the payment and the union is now publicly calling on the school board to say why the money was not paid. They’ve taken that course because one board – Van Dijk Bell – is currently off island and the other – Lourdes Brooks-Lake – requested they put their concerns in writing so it can be researched.

“WITU hopes that this matter will be resolved immediately because the motives for not complying with this is not clear, since no answers can be obtained and questions are also arising pertaining to the legality and functioning of a board consisting of two persons,” the union said in a release it issued Wednesday.

The payments were made a month earlier than agreed because government wanted to avoid having to recalculate the vacation allowance and a retroactive payment on it. This was communicated in a letter the prime minister sent to the school boards, teachers and civil servants.


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