Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly has assured that efforts are being made to pay Early Childhood Care and Education teachers, who have not received any salary for the year.
Guardian Media Limited understands that the affected teachers are no longer able to sustain their operations, finding it difficult to even pay for an internet connection to conduct online classes.
One teacher who opted to speak, but asked not to be identified for fear of victimisation, said her family is on the brink of being evicted since she has been unable to pay her rent.
The teacher, with over a decade in service, said, added to her woes, is the difficulty in providing meals for children as she can barely afford groceries.
Another teacher expressed disappointment that efforts to resolve the matter seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Early Childhood Teachers Trade Union President Jamiele Sydney accused the Education Ministry of using a strategy of withholding salary to pressure permanent staff to accept contract arrangements.
“It could be more than just 8 teachers affected, the ministry pulls this from time to time, all the teachers are on the same pay sheet and they just want them to accept fixed-term contracts. In order to pressure these workers, the ministry chooses not to pay them and say the teachers on a different listing, but that is not the case.”
Responding to concerns, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said measures were being taken to address the issue.
“There are approximately 480 ECCE teaching staff which are classified as teaching assistants, teacher assistants, axillary teachers, and teachers. An administrative issue has arisen which has resulted in eight of these personnel not being paid. It is regretted and will be sorted out and rectified in the shortest possible time.”
Guardian Media understands the last salary the impacted staff members received was back in December 2020.