Berbice Education Department withholds teachers’ salaries
East Berbice Corentyne- More than 20 teachers in East Berbice will have to seek alternative means of providing for themselves and families. Their salaries for April have been withheld by the Department of Education in New Amsterdam for nearly two weeks.
According to reports, Regional Education Officer Ms Shafiran Bhajan sent a directive to Principal Personnel Officer (PPO) of the Region Six Administration, Shelton Daniels, instructing him to withhold the salaries of some 22 teachers across the region operating from Nursery to Secondary schools.
When contacted, Daniels said that the salaries are being withheld because the teachers are attending the University of Guyana, Berbice Campus (UGBC) without authorized release from the Ministry.
He said that, in order for a teacher’s April salary to be released, the teacher would have to visit the Department of Education with a copy of the release for Semesters 1 and 2 for attending UGBC.
Many teachers have expressed outrage at the handling of this matter and have expressed disappointment in the fact that the Guyana Teachers’ Union has remained silent on this matter.
One teacher complained to Kaieteur News that she believes it is a vindictive act on the part of the authorities in the region to frustrate and to take vengeance on teachers who are only furthering their education.
The teacher said that no notice was given to her that her salary would be withheld. She said that she was only aware that her salary was withheld when she visited the bank and could not withdraw a certain sum.
One other teacher related to Kaieteur News that he has a family and a one-month-old baby to provide for and he has virtually nothing to do such. He said that his main focus is to provide for his family during this difficult time.
A similar scenario with withholding of teachers’ salaries took place in February, A Memorandum from the Regional Executive Officer of Region Six had advised the Central Accounting Unit of the region to put teachers’ salaries for February on hold until UGBC Releases were seen from those attending the campus.
Twenty-seven teachers’ salaries were withheld. This newspaper understands, too, that numerous deductions were made from the salaries for April due to teachers attending UGBC without authorized release.
Efforts to contact officials at the Department of Education and Regional Administration proved futile.