Student enrolment at the University of TT’s (UTT) campuses is reportedly down due to continued uncertainty about the university’s future.
OWTU second vice president Sati Gajadhar-Innis said so during a lunch-time protest at the university’s Corinth, Ste Madeleine campus yesterday.
Under a blistering mid-day sun, scores of workers from the Corinth and San Fernando campuses marched in a defiant circular pattern in front of the gates.
Several of then held placards which read, “UTT president Sarim Al-Zubaidy must go”; “UTT Board of Governors must go” and “Tamana campus for sale.”
Gajadhar-Innis said workers were “extremely dissatisfied’ with the impending retrenchment of some 287 employees.
“UTT has to cut cost and if any cost cutting measures has to be done, it must be done in conjunction with the union. We need to know what courses are going to be changed, how job descriptions are to be changed and how it will be done. To say 287 workers will go home when discussions have not been done … We are not going to accept that,” she said.
She said the protest had not affected operations at the two campuses and noted that the student body would be negatively affected by any retrenchment.
“How is the UTT going to operate minus the 287 workers? They saying they want to save $70 million. What percentage of our workforce is going to be affected by that as they try to save $70 million? Certainly from all indications it seems they are going to retrench,” she said.
“Our concern lies with students and that is the reason they are demonstrating on the lunchtime. Students are concerned that if these workers go home what is going to happen to some of the courses that is being offered at the university. Registration is very low because of the uncertainty at the university because no one would like to pay money for a course and then hear that the course is closed.”
Another meeting with the Ministry of Education is expected to be held on Wednesday.