In this file photo, a motorist attempts to drive past this huge pothole on Queen Street in the heart of the city of Port of Spain. – Photo by Sureash Cholai
THE Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Union (TTUTA) is advising the government to use the Christmas vacation to fix bad roads which are affecting their members or, next year, they may have to resort to accessing extraordinary leave.
Teachers are now complaining about how the poor road infrastructure is having an effect on their working condition and they have been reminded by their president of their right to access leave in circumstances.
In a release on Thursday, TTUTA’s president Martin Lum Kin noted the unsafe and unsatisfactory conditions of the roads and the difficulty members experience trying to get to and from their place of work.
The statement reads, “The TTUTA notes with grave concern the unsafe and unsatisfactory conditions of the roadways throughout TT and which a number of our members traverse to and from their place of work.
“The situation has been exacerbated by the recent heavy downpours and subsequent flooding. Our members are under psychological and financial stress when attempting to report for duty.
“TTUTA reminds our members to refer to the advisory on Leave Under Extraordinary Circumstances, should they require to apply for such leave.”
While acknowledging the fact that the end of the school term is near and teachers may not have to use these routes until school reopens next January, the union noted there are administrators in the secondary schools who will be required to report for duty during the vacation.
“These administrators may not be able to manoeuvre through these or seek alternative routes,” said TTUTA.
It reminded government of its promise to address the affected infrastructure during the dry season, arguing for the work to be done as soon as possible as there is a window of opportunity during the vacation.
“Our educators should not have to endure this untenable situation in the next term. Finance Minister Colm Imbert has announced that government will utilise part of the windfall of the previous financial year towards this promise by the Prime Minister.
“TTUTA looks forward to all educators having safe and secure conditions to and from, as well as within their places of employment since the working conditions of the teachers are the learning environment of the student. “