Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 22nd 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, August 22, 2015
"Extend retirement age beyond 60? Are
you out of your mind?"
This was the response by T&T Unified
Teachers Association (TTUTA) president
Devanand Sinanan to Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar who is proposing to increase
the retirement age if the People s Partnership
wins the general election.
In an interview yesterday, Sinanan said it
was surprising that Persad-Bissessar made
such an important announcement without
consulting labour leaders, especially members
of the Joint Trade Union Movement.
With many of his members calling him
and saying "hell no" to the proposal, Sinanan
said many teachers are burnt out after labour-
ing 30-35 years in the service and would
rather spend their latter days relaxing at
home. He said the PM s proposal was con-
trary to teachers requests made to the Chief
Personnel Officer as they want the mandatory
retirement age of 60 to be reduced to 55.
"The feedback I have been getting from
our members who only heard it and called
us is, Hell No. They are not even willing to
consider it because in the teaching service,
it is quite the opposite. We have been bom-
barded by our membership for the last three
sets of proposals we submitted to the CPO.
"We would have had a proposal for the
reduction in the retirement age to 55. Teachers
have been bombarding us to talk to the Gov-
ernment about reducing it from 60 to 55,
not extending it because a lot of people after
30 to 35 years in the service are burnt out
and want to go home," Sinanan said.
Among the other implications of an
increase retirement age would be changes
to the public service regulations. He said
from a teacher s perspective, there is already
an arrangement where they can choose to
leave the service between the ages of 50 and
55, once the permanent secretary grants per-
mission. Some teachers are allowed early
retirement between ages 55 and 60. At 60
years old retirement is mandatory.
"That is what the public service regulation
says so that if you are talking about adjusting
the retirement age, you are also talking about
adjustments in the public service regula-
He said it also hinders the progression of
young people in the workplace and the cre-
ation of more jobs.
He said while they admit that some pro-
fessionals have a wealth of knowledge and
experience that can be valuable to the coun-
try, there are ways to pass on those bene-
"Why are you keeping on persons beyond
the age of 60 when you have so many people
who are unemployed out there? You would
want people to exit the system so that they
can make way for younger ones to come up
the ladder. You would want to create employ-
ment opportunities for young people,"
"While we do accept the fact that yes,
there are certain people who would have
acquired a certain amount of experience and
knowledge but there are ways in which you
can obtain the benefit of the wisdom, knowl-
edge and experience without having to intro-
duce mandatory laws or adjusting the retire-
ment age," he added.
Police and animal rights
activist Jowelle De Souza came
to the rescue of a dog which was
left locked in a car at Harris
Promenade, San Fernando yes-
De Souza, an independent can-
didate for San Fernando West, who
was alerted to the dog s situation,
managed to take the dog out of
the car and to her shelter.
Sergeant Alexander of the San
Fernando Police Station, later
found the owner of the dog, an
elderly woman, who said she left
the dog in her car because the ani-
mal cries when she tries to leave.
Around noon, officers attached
to the San Fernando Magistrates
Court noticed the dog crouched
on the floor of the backseat of a
Nissan Bluebird car, parked in
front of the National Insurance
The windows of the car were
rolled down about an inch and a
half each, to allow air into the car.
However, with temperatures
crossing 31 degrees celsius outside,
the dog was seen panting and was
showing signs of dehydration.
The dog is a common breed and
one year and three months old.
De Souza was alerted and
assisted by officers before taking
the dog. Although the elderly
woman admitted she left the dog
in the car on a daily basis, no
charges were laid against her and
De Souza released the dog back
into her care.
"You could have seen her love
for the dog," De Souza said in an
interview. "But she let that love
overpower her, she didn t want the
dog to be alone at home but she
put his life in danger.
"People are generally sensitive
to animals, but we have a serious
problem where people lock their
dogs up and leave them overnight
in the rain. I saw one case recently
where a security company left a
dog chained overnight in the rain,"
De Souza said.
TUTTA rejects proposal to
extend retirement age
Activist rescues dog from locked car
winning number was
Kendall Perez, of
of yesterday's draw
entries worth $500.
have until midnight
to simply text your
found to the back of
your Guardian to the
code 4638 and you
can be our next
guarantees that one
lucky person MUST
WIN each day.
during the party's
meeting at the
Cyd Gray Sporting
Head of the Animal Welfare Network Jowelle De Souza removes a dog that was
locked in a car along Lord Street, San Fernando, yesterday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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