PHILIPSBURG:--- A group of teachers that Franklin Jeffers is representing has penned a letter to the Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion informing that they are ready to accept the proposed cuts for the years 2020 and 2021. The teachers in their letter said they are ready to accept their full salaries, and the proposed 50% cut in vacation pay for both years, while they envisioned having their vacation pay reimbursed by 200% in the year 2022.
The group of teachers also explained that they stand in solidarity with the entire island in these trying times and also made clear that while the Windward Islands Teachers Union (W.I.T.U) is a respectable organization they do not represent the entire teaching population.
The letter reads below.
Dear Honorable Minister Ardwell Irion,
We are a group of concerned teachers who have taken note of the proposed cuts by the government. While everyone would love for our finances to be stable, we acknowledge the limitations of our coffers.
Therefore, it is reasonable to accept our current salaries as we move forward and half of our vacation pay for 2020 and 2021. Additionally, we would like to propose that the vacation pay be reimbursed in the year 2022 by 200%. Of course, we are hoping that these cuts will be in collaboration with the other operational and material cuts of government, which was part of the cost-cutting conditions.
We, the teachers are in solidarity with the whole island of Sint Maarten during yet another trying time. Since this pandemic became a the reality, every parent has had to acknowledge our strengths as we both in-person and online functioned as teachers, counselors, mentors, advocates, and the list goes on.
The Windward Island Teachers Union represents a body 200+ teachers and has done a great job. However, while the Windward Island Teachers Union (W.I.T.U) is a respected organization, they do not speak for the entire population of teachers.
We hope to have informed you sufficiently as we move forward,
Group of concerned teachers.