Teachers need to participate more in the business of the union that represents them and their interests.
This according to the newly-elected Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) Antonia De Freitas who was speaking after she and five others were sworn into the executive at the association’s head office in Curepe yesterday.
De Freitas is the first woman to lead the association since its inception in 1979.
Kady Beckles was sworn in as general secretary, while Marlon Seales, Kyrla Robertson-Thomas, Darren Lee Him were sworn-in as first, second and third vice presidents, respectively.
Cuthbert Joseph was sworn-in as treasurer.
“Apart from making history, we also have to remember that TTUTA is at a point where the organisation needs to grow, where the organisation needs to move from mass membership to mass participation,” De Freitas said.
She said it is the mission of the newly-elected executive to ensure they connect with members to properly uphold the pillars of TTUTA: Professional development, industrial relations and member benefits and welfare.
This executive will serve for the next three years when elections will be held again.
Out-going president, Lynsely Doodhai urged the association’s newly elected executive to take care of themselves while in office as they prepare for a difficult road ahead.
Doodhai, who was statute-barred from contesting this election as he served for two terms on the association’s executive, said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve as he felt he grew within his time in office.
But he urged the incoming executive to prioritise their well-being while balancing their new duties.
“Your task is going to be a very, very difficult one, the job of a national officer is a very stressful one. Very often you see officers come into the office and they would suffer some sort of illness or medical ailment so I want to remind the incoming officers, try however hard it may be to look after your health, look after your exercise time,” Doodhai said.
He said while it may seem difficult to make time for a healthy lifestyle, the officers cannot serve the teachers if they are not well.
Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad