Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Ministry incompetence bungles payday

Published:Monday | July 27, 2015 | 2:47 PM


I am a male high-school teacher at a non-traditional high school that faces numerous constraints such as lack of resources, students with myriad socio-economic challenges, lack of parental support, and challenging physical conditions such as the toxic odour from a sewage-treatment plant nearby.

With all these challenges, the one thing that has caused me the MOST HURT, most inconvenience and the most OPPRESSION is the treatment I've received from the administrative staff of the Ministry of Education.

In May 2015, no salary was disbursed to me. This glitch was no fault of mine or the school where I work, as I was told by the staff of the ministry, as they admitted their error. I was also told that it was not the policy of the ministry to prepare supplementary cheques for teachers who were not paid, even if the error was the ministry's.

So it was like a pedestrian being maimed after a painful hit by a motorist who actually comes out of the vehicle to inform you that you are on your own and then drives away, leaving you crippled in the middle of the street. Amid my pain, I was the recipient of many unanswered phone calls, mockery, and blatant rudeness by the same staff that caused the glitch. I was never rude or unprofessional in any of my interactions with the staff.

So there I was with bills unpaid, deductions being disrupted, more debt upon my already burdened shoulders, and feeling DEMORALISED, DEPRESSED and having to motivate and educate our nation's children. One lady at the ministry assured me that I would receive the doubled salary in June, which I did.

I was confident that things were OK, especially after calling the relevant persons in early July to remind them to check and ensure that there were no more glitches with my salary. I was in for another big surprise on pay day in July, only receiving $1,700 from the ministry.

After checking with the bank and then with the ministry, I was again informed of another error by the ministry. They again admitted it was their fault. To add salt to the wound, I was told that I will have to wait for another period (about seven days) until the cheque is ready.

Here I am again as a qualified and experienced male teacher who is trying my best to help my nation and I am being economically oppressed by the incompetence of the same institution that has the responsibility to equip and empower me.

I recently upgraded my qualifications and I am owed some retroactive money. Guess what? I was informed that I will have to wait indefinitely. The oppression continues.