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Sunday 22 September 2019
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TTUTA loses SBA lawsuit

TEACHERS will have to continue to mark school-based assessments (SBAs) for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency (CAPE) examinations of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), for now.

A High Court judge has ruled that the question of their contractual obligations was better suited to the Industrial Court.

Justice Vasheist Kokaram said the question asked in an interpretation summons filed by the TT Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) was “misconceived” and “ill suited” for the High Court. He dismissed the union’s application and ordered it to pay 50 per cent of the legal costs.

Kokaram said the issues relating to the contractual obligation of teachers were“in essence a labour dispute.”

The effect of the judge's ruling means teachers will continue to prepare and mark SBAs until the matter is resolved.

TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai said the union will wait for the advice of its lawyers before announcing its next step. However, he maintained that TTUTA’s executive was mandated by its membership to pursue all avenues to resolve the issue, and will do so.

TTUTA’s position is that the marking of SBAs, which are an integral component of the examinations set and administered by CXC at the CSEC and CAPE levels, does not form part of the duties of teachers under their contracts, and consequently they are under no legal obligation to do so.

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