The TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) is standing by its position that teachers would no longer mark school-based assessments (SBA) from September unless they are compensated.
TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai reaffirmed the decision during the 78th Tobago Teachers’ Get-Together function at the Tobago Nutrition and Cooperative Society in Canaan on Friday.
Doodhai said teachers were under no obligation to mark SBAs as this was the responsibility of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), which is based in Barbados. He said CXC is not the employer of teachers and cannot demand they work for free to grade the assessments.
“Although slavery has been abolished since 1834, asking teachers to mark SBAs for free is nothing less than modern day slavery,” he said.
Doodhai noted that last year, two union resolutions on SBAs were passed.
“One resolution mandated that legal recourse be taken to obtain a final interpretation on the marking of SBAs, given the consistent refusal of the CXC to entertain the payment of teachers.
The second resolution called on teachers to not mark any newly introduced SBAs, including Mathematics and English A with immediate effect...The association is prepared to use the courts of the land to ensure that our teachers are no longer taken advantage of,” he said.
Caribbean Union of Teachers president Ashworth Azille commended TTUTA and said teachers across the region feel the same way.
“Lest you believe that the issue of compensation for marking SBAs is unique to Tobago and Trinidad, I tell you it is not. It is a topic that occupies the attention of every member unit in the Caribbean Union of Teachers.
“So far, we have had at least three units who have indicated that they would no longer mark SBAs until such time that a determination can be made as to what, or when, teachers can be compensated,” he said.