Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 24th 2014 Contents A11
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Judicial workers at the
San Fernando magistra-
cy remained off the job
to protest deplorable
This as president of the
Public Services Associa-
tion, Watson Duke, cau-
tioned them not to expect
any pay raises for Christ-
mas and to be prepared
for a long stand-off with
In an interview on
Monday, Duke said a
meeting was held with
the executive court
administrator last Thurs-
day but the PSA was not
satisfied with cosmetic
upgrades to the building.
"They did some cos-
metic works without
acquiring the relevant
documents which we
requested to make the
building OSH compliant.
There were no improve-
ments, no fire certificate
and no co-management
plan. They think the cos-
metic improvement was
sufficient but we dis-
agreed," Duke said.
He reiterated that
workers would not return
to work unless they were
involved in prioritising
and managing scheduled
"The workers will not
work in a place that is
where the indoor air
quality is abnormal. We
will not go where the
electrical report says that
there is a risk of electrical
fire or work in a place
where there is no fire cer-
tificate," Duke added.
He said members
would continue to exer-
cise their rights to stay
away from work.
The State has offered
between ten and 12 per
cent increases to judicial
workers but this has been
rejected by the PSA.
During a meeting with
the staff last Tuesday,
Duke said the PSA was
very concerned about the
health and safety of the
courts across the coun-
"We have gotten staff
from the High Court to
shut down to show sol-
idarity with those of the
Magistrates Court in
Port-of-Spain. This is a
family issue: touch one,
The Parent Teachers Association
(PTA) at Couva West Secondary
School is calling on the parents of
Forms Four and Five students to
send their children to school.
PTA secretary Ana Maria Jackson made
the appeal on Monday, saying while no
classes would be held for Forms One to
Three students until problems at the
school were rectified, classes for Forms
Four and Five were still being held daily.
Jackson also revealed that only 41 of
the 230 students in the two forms attend-
ed classes on Monday.
"By the time the roll was called, there
were only 10 students present. Later on
the others came, but there were only 41
students in total," she said.
Jackson said the decision to continue
classes for Forms Four and Five was
taken because these students will sit
Caribbean Examination Council (CXC)
"These children need the guidance
now, they need to be in school even if
it s just for half day," Jackson said.
"The teachers have set up makeshift
classrooms in the cafeteria and the hall-
Despite the low turnout, Jackson said,
some teachers still elected to teach on
"Math and English teachers still decid-
ed to teach, even though there were
hardly any students. Teachers have been
sending out text messages to their stu-
dents to tell them to come to school,"
Jackson said the problem might stem
from media reports last week that
showed the school being shut down.
"Many parents might just be unaware
that there are classes for the Form Four
and Fives, so they are keeping them at
home. But hopefully they can get the
message and send the kids out to school."
Jackson said the school would most
likely reopen to all students on Monday,
as short and long-term solutions had
been identified at a meeting with stake-
holders on Friday.
Forms One to Three students were
sent home last week after teachers
refused to teach because of a problem
with the school s air-conditioning sys-
PTA calls Couva West CXC
students back to school Sando court workers
stay at home
touch all," Duke said.
He promised that
were ongoing and "things
were looking well."
"I cannot promise any-
body money for Christ-
mas, because that will
cause me to compromise.
If you begin with Christ-
mas in mind, you will sell
"But if we begin with
a good salary in mind, we
will achieve a real goal to
a good salary and a better
He told staff they
needed more than just
disposable cash for
Last week, Duke toured several areas in south,
including the Food Production building, Public Transport
Service Corporation offices at King's Wharf and the rat-
infested Pleasantville Secondary School.
Public service staff at Pleasantville Secondary were
put on standby for protest action. Duke told staff they
should not compromise on safety, adding the school
was a haven for rats and other vermin. He also
complained of dilapidated ceilings, poor ventilation,
leaking roof, improper drainage, waterlogged electrical
circuits, unsafe floorings, broken concrete slabs,
dilapidated windows and corroded water lines.
Over the past two weeks, staff at the school have
been protesting and the Ministry of Education has
promised to rectify the problems.
Duke also said he was not pleased with the repairs at
the King's Wharf buildings. So far, six buildings in San
Fernando have been shut down by PSA action because
of health and safety violations.
SCHOOL ON STANDBY
PSA President Watson Duke after addressing The Judicial staff from the San
Fernando Magistrates Court, on Harris Promenade, San Fernando last week
Tuesday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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