It would seem that every Monday morning, someone, somewhere, is protesting against the Ministry of Education.
And it seems that Minister Anthony Garcia – former principal, teacher, and TTUTA President, is clueless as to the needs of his Ministry.
The latest bacchanal surrounds the University of Trinidad and Tobago which was built under the Patrick Manning administration.
Garcia says UTT overstaffed and the time has come to trim the fat. That means to fire 277 members of staff.
Garcia is insisting that “as of now, no decision has been taken,” as to how many people will be sent home. How come Garcia is always the last to know what is going on?
UTT’s President, Sarim Al-Zubaidy, in a letter updating staff on the restructuring indicated that the university was awaiting feedback from both entities.
Garcia, who has been the convenor of meetings between the UTT management and the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) which represents the UTT workers as discussions continue on the university, said he was aware that the OWTU had “requested information from the UTT with respect to the number of persons who might be in line to be sent home, and once the information is supplied to the union I will reconvene the meeting. But the matter is still under negotiations.”
He could not say when that meeting will take place.
Garcia would not get into details on plans to rationalise the UTT. He said “all of those things are subject to negotiations. I, as the convenor of the meeting, cannot pronounce on any of the proposals either put forward by the university or by the union at this point. I would be compromising my position.”
Garcia said “you have to remember we in a process of negotiation.
Once the union receives the requested information, as the person who has been chairing the meeting will reconvene the session where we will continue to work out how best we will deal with the situation.”
ONE OF UTT’S CAMPUSES