The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers, is distraught by the number of educators in the ELT sector who are approaching the union because they have lost their livelihood in the past few weeks. The scenario that has thus been created is heart-breaking and unacceptable.
These teachers have been, to date, an essential element in the progress this island has made in the field of tourism. They have been a driving force which has kept the economy alive and thriving, through their services. Despite their hard work through the years, they are now being repaid for their endeavour with dismissal at the worst possible time. Those who were not dismissed are being kept on hold and left to their own devices, with no income to guarantee the payment of bills, rent or food on the table, and all of this for an indefinite amount of time.
Contracts, which can only be considered laughable in the face of the current situation, are the main cause of their plight. No security has been offered to many of these teachers should the unthinkable happen. Families dependent on their income from this sector now have an even greater burden to bear. As things stand, it is not only the fear of possibly getting irremediably sick that weighs on their shoulders, but also the possibility that they may not be able to secure the basic needs which are meant to keep them alive.
The authorities should feel duty bound to assist these vulnerable members of our society, who to date have been providing a sterling service to the economy. Employers should be paying their debt of gratitude to these people who, in return for a minor fraction of the profit they made, ensured that on a daily basis their businesses ran smoothly, efficiently and incessantly through the years.