Education contract workers not paid, status uncertain

Contract workers in the Ministry of Education claimed Thursday that they have not been paid in the last pay period.

Ann Ward, who wrote Eyewitness News via email said, her and many others were not paid for the month of July.

Ward wrote: The Ministry of Education can’t give a time we’ll be paid, but [we’re] still on the job. Are they going to give some [workers] two months salary or where we stand, or are they going to send us home…no one knows. Please ask someone in charge; Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) or the Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd.” 

Attempts to reach Lloyd were unsuccessful, however, Director of Education Marcellus Taylor who spoke with Eyewitness News via telephone yesterday, confirmed that some contract workers were not paid.

“The situation with the contract workers is not affecting the teaching staff at all, but the workers contracted as teachers aides and some clerical workers,” Taylor clarified.

“These are largely the people impacted by this.”

Taylor also confirmed that the group of persons hired to work these “sorts of low jobs” are not qualified for permanent positions and were brought on by the previous Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration.

He explained to Eyewitness News that every contract worker’s specification is different and the Free National Movement (FNM) government is deciding how to handle each worker’s case.

“This new administration is seeking to normalize the process of their [contract workers] engagement,” he said.

Taylor expressed his uncertainty about the payment process for these workers saying that he doesn’t know if their not being paid means that they will not be brought back into the public service.

“I think what it means is that for this point of time, their employment has been suspended,” he said.

He explained that he is unaware of who or how many have not been paid, nor does he know the terms under which they were brought to the ministry for temporary employment.