MORE than 450 University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) workers on fixed-term contracts have gone to the Industrial Court seeking regularisation.
A number of them gathered on Monday outside the court on St Vincent Street, Port of Spain after the hearing, wearing Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) jerseys. The OWTU is their representative union.
OWTU branch president for UTT Amanda Thompson told the media the union had a conciliation matter for the regularisation of 455 workers from the university. She reported there was conciliation with members of the UTT management, who now have to return to their principals and let them know whether they will continue bilateral talks outside of the court system.
Thompson explained 92 per cent of the workers at UTT are on fixed-term contracts, some with contracts as long as 16 years. She said they were spread throughout the departments of UTT but did not include lecturers, whom the union does not represent. “So we’re here to ask the court to assist in regularisation of the workers.”
The conciliation matter was heard before judge Albert Aberdeen. The union returns to court on March 15. UTT is a state-owned university and was established in 2004.