Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Garcia: Over 300 UTT staff members to be dismissed

Over 300 academic and non-academic staff members of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) will be dismissed in total, according to Education Minister Anthony Garcia.

The Minister made in the revelation in the Upper House on Monday afternoon as he responded to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark on the total numbers of persons to be retrenched in the coming weeks due to UTT’s restructuring exercise.

According to the information received from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, 59 academic staff are to be dismissed, 57 of which have already received dismissal letters. In addition, 287 non-academic staff are to be dismissed. Discussions are still ongoing between the OWTU and the University of Trinidad and Tobago,” the Education Minister said.

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The Opposition Senator further questioned if UTT has provided the representative union, OWTU with the information it has requested on the retrenchment exercise.

As far as the negotiation process, the union has been requesting certain bits of information, that has been provided to the union. However, I have facilitated three meetings in an effort to bring both parties together and at the last meeting that I held with the union and UTT, the union had requested some additional bits of information. The UTT is now treating with that information and I’ve been assured that in the not too distant future that information would be relayed to the union,” Garcia said in response.

Mark also asked the Minister to say what impact if any will have on the quality of education at the university, however, the question was not allowed by the Senate President.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Senator also questioned Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus on the retrenchment exercise in the Upper House this afternoon.

He asked whether if the Ministry has been formally notified of by UTT of the retrenchments and what assistance if any is being provided to the employees.

“I am informed by the UTT that regards to the academic staff they’re not deemed to be workers under the act which requires reporting to the Minister of Labour,” she responded.

Several lecturers have already received their dismissal letters.

They have been demanding the withdrawal of these letters.

Some of them have also threatened legal action.


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