BUT ‘optimistic’ of paraeducators pay rise

Teaching assistants could be in line for a pay rise in the next Budget in the wake of proper job descriptions being finalised after more than 20 years.

The Bermuda Union of Teachers said it was “reasonably optimistic” that a wage increase for classroom assistants and educational therapist assistants would be announced in the Budget, due to be delivered on April 21.

A union spokesman said: “The union is proud to announce that, after 20-plus years of struggle and negotiation, paraeducators and educational therapist assistants have seen a full job description finalised.

“This is a small step towards justice and fair-mindedness for a group that has laboured under unacceptable and tenuous conditions for decades on end now — frontline workers who represent an absolutely indispensable cog in the Bermuda public education system.”

The union added that it had pushed for better pay for the group for the past 17 years, but had struggled to make a case because their role in the education system was not defined.

The spokesman said the BUT was “determined to have school teaching support staff “recompensed at a rate that is fair and reflective of their considerable contribution to the daily functionality of each and every school in Bermuda”.

He added: “Our negotiations for a pay raise for this group have plodded on for some 17 years now and there is no reason for our employers to continue to question their value to our students, staff and, ultimately, our entire society.

“With this in mind, we are reasonably optimistic that the repeatedly promised move to an increased pay band for paras and ETAs will be reflected in the Government’s 2020-21 fiscal Budget for education in Bermuda.”

The union also pledged to campaign for annual contracts for schools support staff.

The spokesman said: “As always, the BUT will fight for what’s right for our members, ensuring that all stakeholders get the very best the Bermuda public education system can offer.

“If the Government sees fit to implement new requirements for employment, then compensation scales must be reflective of these new measures.

“This is logical, fair, and decent, which is the kind of treatment this union has always sought, demanded and expected for our members.”

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Published Feb 4, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 5, 2020 at 1:17 pm)

BUT ‘optimistic’ of paraeducators pay rise

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