HIGH COURT ORDERS THA TO IMMEDIATELY PAY TOBAGO CONTRACT TEACHERS ALL GRATUITY & ALL OUTSTANDING PAYMENTS PLUS INTEREST
In a decision delivered in the High Court today, Contract Teachers throughout Tobago won a Constitutional Motion filed against the Tobago House of Assembly for their rights to all Gratuity payments and all monies outstanding and due and owing to them.
The case brought by a representative group of 14 Contract Teachers from all across Tobago, was filed by their Attorneys at Law MARTIN GEORGE & CO as a Constitutional Motion against the THA & Attorney General. The Teachers claimed for a Declaration of Inequality of Treatment under the Constitution of Trinidad & Tobago. They said the THA treated them unequally as compared to the Permanent Teachers in Tobago and also unequally as compared to Contract Teachers in Trinidad; by paying them less and not allowing them the same amount of leave and vacation and benefits and perquisites as Permanent Teachers in Tobago and as Contract Teachers in Trinidad.
Justice David Harris in his High Court Judgment delivered today, while dismissing the claims of the Teachers to be made Permanent and refusing to grant this Declaration, however ordered that -:
1. The THA breached the Constitutional Rights of the Contract Teachers to Equality of Treatment, by failing to pay them their outstanding Gratuities.
2. The THA breached the Constitutional Rights of the Contract Teachers to Enjoyment of Property, by failing to pay them their outstanding Gratuities.
3. The THA is ordered to IMMEDIATELY pay the Contract Teachers ALL Gratuities and ALL Outstanding Monies Lawfully due and owing to them.
4. The THA is ordered to pay the Contract Teachers interest at 2.5% per annum on all outstanding monies and gratuities due and owing to them from the date of filing of the Claim to the date of Judgment.
5. The THA is ordered to pay the Contract Teachers interest at 5% per annum on all outstanding monies and gratuities due and owing to them from the date of Judgment to the date of payment.
Attorneys Martin George & Co will be writing and sending a copy of the Judgment to Mr. Kelvin Charles who is the Chief Secretary of the THA and who is also the Secretary of Education for the THA, calling upon him to IMMEDIATELY pay ALL Tobago Contract Teachers their outstanding Gratuity and ALL other outstanding Monies due and owing to them plus interest, in accordance with the High Court Judgment in this Constitutional Motion which was delivered against the THA today.
The Firm of MARTIN GEORGE & CO sees this case and this Judgment, as being bigger than just the Tobago Contract Teachers, as there are Hundreds of other THA Employees who similarly complain about not having been paid, outstanding monies and gratuities by the THA. In this regard, the Firm of MARTIN GEORGE & CO, will also be writing to Mr. Kelvin Charles in a separate correspondence, calling upon the THA, to also begin paying ALL outstanding gratuities and ALL outstanding monies due to ALL of THA’s Contract Workers and THA Employees, because based on this Judgment, it is clear that the HIGH COURT has ruled that it is a breach of the Constitutional Rights of THA’s Contract Teachers, for the THA to not pay them IMMEDIATELY, all their outstanding Gratuities and outstanding Monies. So in the same way it will be argued, that it is a breach of the Constitutional Rights of ALL of the THA’s other Employees, for the THA to not pay them IMMEDIATELY, all their outstanding Gratuities and outstanding Monies.