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Tuesday 13 November 2018
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OWTU: SAPA use was temporary

RICHARDSON DHALAI

A number of campuses have been earmarked for closure by the University of T&T (UTT) as part of its restructuring exercise. OWTU second vice-president Sati Gajadhar-Inniss said so as she clarified the closure of the UTT campus at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando.

“SAPA was never an official campus. NAPA (the National Academy for the Performing Arts) was the official campus. There was extensive work being done at NAPA for some time, so what happened is, they had transferred some of the courses there. But now that NAPA is opened back, they reintroduced the courses back to NAPA,” she said.

“So it was not an official campus. Some of the courses were transferred there, but it was never an official campus.” Gadajhar-Inniss, who has responsibility for UTT, said several campuses had been earmarked for closure by the university’s management team but had not been identified to the union.

Asked about last Wednesday’s meeting, which was facilitated by the Ministry of Education, she said the union had proposed the removal of 60 positions, which would save the university some $49 million. “We made a presentation where we proposed that the university is pretty much top-heavy, to bring it back in line to what originally was there.

“We proposed to move a number of the top positions – some 60 positions were discussed – because we also did a cost-effectiveness showing where money could be saved by removing these 60 positions instead of sending home 287 workers,” she said.

Gadajhar-Inniss said UTT had originally said some $ 41.5 million would be saved by the termination of over 200 workers. Gadajhar-Inniss said the university had agreed to another meeting just before Carnival.

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