COURT RULES IN FAVOUR OF CONTRACT TEACHERS
A victory for contract teachers in Tobago.
The High Court has ordered that the THA pay all gratuities owed to them, immediately.
The judgement was handed down, on Friday.
Elizabeth Williams has more in this report.
Text Transcript for Video:
The case brought by a representative group of 14 contract teachers, from all across Tobago, was filled by their attorney Martin George & Co. as a constitutional motion against the THA and their attorney general. The teachers sort a declaration of inequality of treatment under the constitution. Justice David Harris in his judgment refused to grant the declaration of inequality of treatment and dismissed the claims of the teachers to be made permanent staff. However, he ruled that the THA breached the constitutional rights of the contact teachers to equality of treatment and to enjoyment of property by failing to pay them their outstanding gratuities. The THA was ordered to immediately pay the contract teaches all gratuities and all outstanding monies lawfully due and owing to them and to pay them interest at 2.5% per annum on all outstanding monies and gratuities due to and owing to them, from the date of filing of the claim to the date of judgment. The THA was also 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. Attorney Martin George told TV6, he will be sending a copy of the judgment to Education Secretary Kelvin Charles requesting that he obey the judgment. Contacted by TV for comment the Education Secretary said a senior council will look at the judgment. Charles added that the THA has never refused to pay outstanding gratuities as there is a process of computerization and auditing. He noted that there is a line item in the budgetary allocation to treat with gratuity payment, which, will allow payments to be make in a more timely manner going forward. Furthermore he said, with respect to gratuity payment generally he has given instructions to have payments made from previous years to present, in individual cases.