Last update: 19-Dec-2013 7:24 am
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Members lure ex-officer back
After having served three years as T&T Unified Teachers’ Association’s (TTUTA) vice-president, Davenand Sinanan has now set his sights on the presidency. Sinanan, who is now principal of the Palo Seco Secondary School, yesterday confirmed he had decided to contest for the post of president, which will be vacated by Roustan Job ahead of TTUTA’s October 24 elections. He faces three other contenders. Teachers Cuthbert Joseph, of Belmont Secondary; Amral Hosein, of Chaguanas North Secondary and Nicolas Cooper-Neaves, of Marabella South Secondary School, also have signalled their intention to contest the post.
Earlier this year, Sinanan resigned his TTUTA vice-presidential post after learning he was to be promoted to the post of principal. He was later assigned to Palo Seco Secondary. However, in a telephone interview yesterday, Sinanan said he was “bombarded” by TTUTA members who urged him to contest the elections. He said members felt he had the “right combination of leadership qualities and the knowledge and competence to lead the union at this critical juncture.” That, Sinanan said, influenced his decision. “Service is near and dear to my heart. I could not turn my back on that very strong call. So after very, very careful thought and consideration and after consulting with a lot of friends and relatives “I have decided to offer myself again,” he added. Sinanan said he believed he was the best candidate to run TTUTA because of the experience and knowledge he had gained in the last three years as vice president. He added that he received positive feedback from his tenure as vice president.
He added: “I suppose a lot of people felt I was presidential material. “It was not that I went seeking power or presidency. I went there to do the best job I could do. People evaluated my performance. It was based on their evaluation that many, many persons constantly approached me to run for the president.” Sinanan is heading Team TNT (The New TTUTA), a slate which includes Antonia de Freitas (first vice president); Lynsley Doodhai (second vice president); Martin Lum Kim (third vice president); Jeewan Durga (treasurer) and Fitzroy Daniel (general secretary).
Sinanan explained he would take a hiatus from his job should he win. Under TTUTA rules, principals cannot be a member of the union as they represent the Ministry of Education.
If successful Sinanan will assume office on November 1. He said taking a three-year hiatus would not affect his earnings, since TTUTA would be paying him a salary equivalent to a grade nine position in the teaching service. He is at grade eight. “It will be a slight improvement in salary but a lot more work, significantly longer hours and more demanding. It is a lot more challenging as well,” he added. He said TTUTA officers served three year-terms and the law provided for him to take leave to serve the union. “Legally there is nothing that prevents me from leading or serving in any position. That is the agreement we have with the employer, who is the Chief Personnel Officer, that we can stay out of the system for a maximum of six consecutive years serving the union,” he added. He said incumbent Job and his executives had served their consecutive terms and under the TTUTA constitution they were ineligible to contest the elections.
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