“I did not want to have to take a loan from the bank but, the way things are going now, I have no choice but to do so and I have already approached a bank.
“I’m going into my final semester next year, so I need all my money which I have already worked for… [But] every time, they keep saying the Ministry is the problem.”
The following Letter to the Editor was submitted anonymously to Wired868 by a writer who claims to be an evening tutor at South East Port of Spain Secondary:
I’m writing this letter to you because I’m frustrated and don’t know who to turn to. We are Ministry of Education tutors who teach evening classes at the South East Port of Spain Secondary School. The staff there has reached to a point where everyone is becoming more and more frustrated as the months go by—because we have not been paid for over a year and some for even longer.
It seems that the supervisor(s) just don’t care. When you try to find out why we are not being paid, you get the same answer all the time: “We are working on it.” But in the end nothing happens and a new month starts with the same situation.
I think if the teachers there did not love what they are doing, they would have all left already.
I have been working there since November last year. It was a friend who told me about the opening for a teacher in my subject area and I agreed to do it as the money will come in handy to help pay for my master’s program. I am doing a master’s in education with an emphasis in assessment evaluation measurement.
I am also a contract teacher with the Ministry where I am on a three-month contract. Yes, sometimes we get paid late but nothing like what happens with evening tutors. And, yes, it is very hard for me to get by as a result because I use my salaries to pay for my master’s which is in US dollars.
My sister paid for one semester for me, which just shows how things are with me right now. Plus I have other bills which my husband helps me pay, as you know us women can cut and contrive if we have to.
I did not want to have to take a loan from the bank but, the way things are going now, I have no choice but to do so and I have already approached a bank.
I’m going into my final semester next year, so I need all my money which I have already worked for.
For the first three months as an evening tutor, we were not paid. I said ‘okay, then let us see what happens come January’. I decided to get feedback from other teachers, only to find out that they have not been paid for two years—although one teacher told me they used to get payment on a regular basis before that.
Every time, they keep saying the Ministry is the problem. This issue needs to be drawn to the Minister’s attention. And the funny thing is the students get very good passes at the end of it all, yet we are suffering for our monies.
Please help us. We are doing our part. All we are asking is to be paid our monies due to us. From your previous Letter to the Editor about contract workers at the Ministry, I feel that URP and CEPEP workers are being treated better than us.
Our voices are crying out to be paid what’s due to us.