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12th Grade teachers upset over non-payment of gas allowance

- said Education Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn continues to snub them
Both Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture Dr Marcia Potter (left) and Education Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn (right) did not respond to our queries on the non-payment of gas allowance to 12th Grade teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) as promised in September 2016. Photo: VINO/File
12th Grade Teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) have been made to use their personal vehicles to travel back and forth between H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) and HLSCC but are yet to be paid their gas allowance promised since September 2016. Photo: VINO/File
12th Grade Teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) have been made to use their personal vehicles to travel back and forth between H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) and HLSCC but are yet to be paid their gas allowance promised since September 2016. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL), the controversial Minister for Education and Culture, continues to be lambasted for wasting $1M on a small wall around the Elmore Stoutt High School prior to the 2015 snap elections. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL), the controversial Minister for Education and Culture, continues to be lambasted for wasting $1M on a small wall around the Elmore Stoutt High School prior to the 2015 snap elections. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The poor decision by the controversial Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn (AL) to hastily implement the 12th Grade Programme in the public high school system without all the facilities in place has created a logistical havoc with the shortage of teachers and the 12th Grade students of Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) having to be placed at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) in Paraquita Bay.

Many teachers turned up to work in September 2016 to learn that they would have to travel to Paraquita Bay, some on a daily basis, to teach 12th Grade students and return to ESHS for their other classes.

Some classes at the lower levels were left in limbo as the 12th Grade was given priority for teachers while recruitment continued.

Teachers of 12th Grade students were also promised a gas allowance for using their personal vehicles to travel between HLSCC and ESHS.

To date they have not received a dime for gas.

“We were told when we started in September that we were going to get gas allowance for transportation. We have not received it. Every time we contact them (Ministry of Education) about it no one returns our call. Ms [Sandy M.] Underhill our Principal has been contacting them and they keep telling her, first, we were going to get it by the end of last year but we have not received it.

“Then they told her we were going to get it in January, by the end of January. It is now February 15th and we still have not received it,” an obviously upset teacher told this news site last week.

Our newsroom was further told that the some thirty (30) teachers affected do not even know how much money they are to receive as gas allowance since they were never told.

“They rushed some type of paper in front of us to sign, till now we don’t know how much we getting per month. Nobody has gotten anything and I am fed up. I am to the point where I just want to stay home. I don’t know who else to contact to get this news out because Myron Walwyn isn’t studying us at all. I used to have his number he blocked me off of Whatsapp. When I try to contact him on Facebook he is not responding. I hate to say it but he just horrible and something needs to be done because this is not fair,” a teacher stated while on the verge of tears.

Hon Walwyn did not respond to our queries on the matter.

‘I can’t afford to keep doing this’

One teacher said having to travel back and forth from HLSCC on a daily basis is already a strain on her as some of her classes at HLSCC and ESHS are not far apart and she is made to “do the impossible” to get to her classes on time while no one is looking into her interests and the other affected teachers.

“There are some that go two and three times a week to the college while there are some that go every day. I go every single day…you asking me to do the impossible and you don’t even want to give me gas. I am filling up my car three times a week and I can’t afford to keep doing this with no compensation, especially when I had no clue that this was happening to me until I reach work in September. You just throw it on me and promise me something and don’t deliver on it.

“No matter who you contact you get nothing,” the teacher related to this news site.

Meanwhile, this news site also made attempts to get a comment from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Marcia Potter but was unsuccessful.

While it is not clear why the teachers have not been paid their gas allowance as promised, whether the Government can afford it is not a far-fetched question as the National Democratic Party (NDP) has long been accused of raiding the Treasury to win the 2015 snap elections and leaving the territory broke.

Added to that, prior to the elections, Hon Walwyn wasted $1M on a small wall around the Elmore Stoutt High School.

45 Responses to “12th Grade teachers upset over non-payment of gas allowance”

  • Hmmm (20/02/2017, 07:08) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    Gas allowance
  • Really (20/02/2017, 07:25) Like (10) Dislike (76) Reply
    Driving from the school to college and back daily would not require you to fill up your tank 3 times in a week, barely even 1 fill. So are you just hoping the government pays yiur total gas bill for the week?
    • @Really (20/02/2017, 08:49) Like (90) Dislike (3) Reply
      You need to hush because an allowance needs to be paid to teachers for having to travel back and forth to HLSCC. Travel Allowance is not gas alone either it should cover wear and tear of vehicle. No where I see they are asking government to pay for their entire gas bill. It is people like you why the Virgin Islands is how it is, condoning wrong doing to people.
    • SMH (20/02/2017, 09:06) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let it be you......driving is not an unstressful task along with teaching! Just Saying...
    • Jack I tell yo (20/02/2017, 09:42) Like (42) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Really
      Let me tell you, that teacher aint lie. I work in town and have to go to the college from Monday to Thursday and I do indeed stop by the gas station twice per week. The resident location of that teacher must also be factored in because she/he has to come to town and then this back and forth to paraquita bay. So until you are in her/his shoes you need to take several seats.
    • Hmmm.... (20/02/2017, 10:03) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      @really - If you don't know what to say keep quiet! When my child was at HLSCC I had to fill up at least twice a week and I live in town. So yes, what they are saying is relevant. Don't go into wear and tear on their vehicles with the bad roads. That's another story.
  • kick backs (20/02/2017, 07:41) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    what's new here the money went for the wall and mold
    • My Take (20/02/2017, 11:10) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      now its needed and we have zero myrun as killed education every way you look at it!
    • Mold (20/02/2017, 12:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      The EsHS teachers are suffering from the mold at the College too.
  • wize up (20/02/2017, 07:54) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    leadership matters and my question(come 2019 what can or will be done).....
    • @ wize up (20/02/2017, 08:49) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
      nothing the NDP will buy the election again as the VIP is very divided
  • Observer (20/02/2017, 08:52) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply

    wants to fight and kill people to be premier but constantly creating disasters by poor decision choices. God save the people of the Virgin Islands if ever gets wish to lead.

  • Vasting (20/02/2017, 09:15) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do not forget, the pen and the vote are mighty tools.
  • wrong is wrong (20/02/2017, 09:21) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    I feel for the teachers. Things not easy meh son. but some ppl bread well buttered n not hand to mouth...
  • Who feels it knows (20/02/2017, 09:34) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    2 sum it may seem like gas allowance not much and teahcers being petty but some people bufget stretched real thin...ting to talk
    • Strupes (20/02/2017, 11:05) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      vehicle don't run on gas only
      • fresh air (21/02/2017, 19:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        True! I just ate some beans andFARTED in my gas tank. Wow! It got me to and from around Tortola for a FULL WEEK- amazing.
  • FYI (20/02/2017, 09:50) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
    Teachers were paid on Friday
  • TEK DAT (20/02/2017, 09:59) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Myrun is due for pension so he aint studying ayo
  • Political Observer (PO) (20/02/2017, 09:59) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Teachers assigned to the ESHS normal commute to work is from home to ESHS. If they are required to travel to other locations, i.e., HLSCC.......etc, government should either provide transportation, i.e., shuttle bus or pay the teaches a transportation allowance( it is more than a gas allowance; it covers wear and tear on vehicles) or pay them a reasonable mileage rate. However, if the decision were to pay a transportation allowance, the teachers should have been told how much up front. Further, with a transportation allowance, teachers could be asked to provide proof of insurance, vehicle registration and ownership. Is this an example of that age olde adage that poor planning leads to piss poor performance? Haste makes waste. The intent of an extra year in secondary school was noble but the tush Tom execute was poor and disastrous like Trump's Muslim ban (it was a Muslim ban). Pay the teachers. The $1M spent on a wall could and should have been used on more urgent neeeds.
    • Quiet Storm (21/02/2017, 10:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Ditto. Real talk. A sensible and reasonable course of action. Like the alliteration of poor project planning piss poor performance.
  • Xxx (20/02/2017, 12:29) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is that the guy killing to be chief
  • foxy (20/02/2017, 13:26) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    The minister "Bragged" in the House of Assembly "I AM NOT Hand To Mouth" end of quote ..Well Myron V Walwyn Pay the Damn Teachers..
  • Daisy (20/02/2017, 14:25) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I do not think it is fair to have teachers going back and forth from ESHS to the The HLSCC campus to teach a sixth form. That must be tireing on the teachers, so I wonder how beneficial it is for the students. The sixth form needs to have teachers assigned to that form only. It is my understanding that the students at ESHS sometimes do not have classes because of the lack of teachers. This sould like a crazy arrangement to me.
  • bus (20/02/2017, 14:29) Like (2) Dislike (12) Reply
    Catch the same business the children on it goes on time and return on time too problem solved the buses are being paid already and have space
    • Really? (20/02/2017, 15:30) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      What about teachers who are teaching one class at the college and other class at high school. What bus are they supposed to catch? Clearly you don't understand what the situation is that is going on
    • Yes.... (22/02/2017, 00:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Because teachers are in fact adult students who all live at ESHS in Road Town without spouses, children, bills and other errands to run... Insert side eye...

      Yes... Because a lunch hour is too much time for some of them to actually eat and travel between the two schools, gather necessary resources, accommodate students, colleagues and/or parents with questions or concerns...

      I don't even know why we bother to have a teaching profession when everybody else always seems to know what's best for teachers... Isn't that how we once thought about children?
  • yep yep (20/02/2017, 16:09) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Government needs to get a bus to transport the teachers or give the teachers them their gas allowance point blank . THIS IS NON SENSE!!!I would not blame any teacher for not going to Paraquita Bay because MVW is doing stuff blind and not thinking of the backlash. I understand not even papers they providing for the school but building $1 million wall. High School wall should not have cost so much. That project was over budgeted. They really need to make MVW pay back some sort of money for that $1 million wall since he is miss managing the education funds.
  • man from boy (20/02/2017, 18:00) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
  • 1 (20/02/2017, 20:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a citizen I truly cannot believe that the other elected members of the NDP is indifferent to this spreading corruption and abuse
  • wrong and strong (20/02/2017, 20:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Myron time is up!
  • Liat 521 (20/02/2017, 20:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    thank Jahover for VINO that is how they keep their records.
  • sorry for voting for the ndp (20/02/2017, 20:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Poor Teachers and Students since after the 2015 elections your blood pressure will be going up, panic attack will be going up, stress level will be going up, depression will be more prevalent and probably heat attack.
  • M & M (20/02/2017, 20:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Time will soon deal with that Myron mark my words. TIME is ALWAYS the master.
  • Concerned Parent (20/02/2017, 23:22) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    This additional year is a waste of time, waste of resources and has been plagued with problems from the start. It looks good only on paper. Most of the children are just wasting time. My child was successful in his CXCs and he is up at the college doing over the same subjects he has already passed. That make sense? He is frustrated and is just going through the motion.
    I know children in other Caribbean islands write their CXCs in grade 11 and then graduate. Those who want to go further enter 6th form where they do advanced subjects for two years and then move on to university.
    Our children now are spending an extra year repeating what they did in grade 11 and then move on to HLSCC where they have to spend another 2 years before they go off to college. Does that make sense? Just wasting the children's time.
    They need to scrap the whole stupid additional year because it doesn't make any sense and is costing the government additional expenses: gas allowance for teachers, paying buses to transport students back and forth daily, finding additional teachers etc and how is the additional year helping the children? From what I understand, just a handful of them are doing advanced studies. Most of the others are just wasting time.
  • Belonger With A Broader Perspective (21/02/2017, 01:20) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    Hmmmm Is it customary in the BVI for employers to figure out how employees get to work? Where is it in the labour code? If Walwyn made the commitment, as a man he needs to honor it. Simple. If he couldn't keep his promise, be a man and say it. Other places in the world, you get a job and you find your way. Show up and get paid. Stay home and get fired. BVI people have this entitlement issue. The government is the biggest enabler. Walwyn should have never made that commitment. He's doing a good thing by cleaning up the education system so the youth can have a better future. The government doesn't have the money. NDP have a lot of talk talk talk but can't do nothing to strengthen the country fiscally.
    • Belonger with an even broader perspective (21/02/2017, 05:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stop looking at what other countries are doing and start thinking about the bigger picture - the BVI picture. Travel allowance is customary for civil servants who have to use their personal vehicles to drive here, there and everywhere. While that may be antiquated and a waste of public funds is another story, but it is customary. Also, if you sign a contract that states your place of employment will be at point A and then you are later instructed that you will now have to frequent point B your contract should be able to be renegotiated, something I'm sure didn't happen because the Government treats people as if they have no options and must take whatever they are given. Yes the Government is an enabler, but they don't do anything to sever this parasitic relationship instead they hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars to the people during election time and continue to also hand out frivolous contracts to locals afterwards in an effort to ensure their vote. The education system is trash so I won't even touch on that. The government has money for what they want believe that.
    • @belonger (21/02/2017, 08:56) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Part of me do agree with what you are saying but i have to also agree with how the teachers feel. Yes they were hired to do a job and it is their job to get to and from their home and work....but an extra leg was added to their commute that they didnt sign up for, nor do they agree with and they should be compensated. The fact is if teachers, police, immigration, customs, hospital will pay their employees what they are worth for the services they provide which is an humans basic needs (education, health, security) then the employees wouldnt be fussing about salary increases, or gas allowances. They would show up and perform. But when people are not treated or their worth acknowledged this is the result. So the problem is greater than just Myron or the NDP.....we as civil servants play a vital role in this economy but we are not valued. Compensate us for our worth and i am sure they would be a change in attitudes. People are frustrated, depressed, and stressed.
    • @Belonger with a broader perspective (21/02/2017, 10:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's sad that you don't understand why teachers should be compensated for having to travel outside of their normal work commute to facilitate the teaching of our young people. Teachers earn very little money and on top of that they often funnel that same very little money back into classrooms and students to ensure that their school experience is worthwhile! If teachers are now asked to commute that stretches their already tight budget to the limit. No teacher is asking to be made rich, they are simply asking to be at the same level monetarily that they would be had the commute not been enacted. Hope this clears things up for you!
  • Belonger With A Broader Perspective (21/02/2017, 14:36) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    @Belonger with an even broader perspective @Belonger @Belonger with a broaderperspective

    I am looking at the broader picture and I hope the BVI starts looking too. I know teacher in bigger nations that don't have a commuter allowance period. They contribute to their classrooms out of their own pocket just like teachers in the BVI. The salaries may be more but the personal living standards are stretched due to pay vs cost of living in these countries. Now I agree that the government needs to sever this parasitic relationship. The government budget needs to be revamped. The UK needs to come in because NDP can't handle it. We can't wait for VIP or any other political party that has to be elected in two years. We need change NOW!!!!!

    Civil servants across the globe always complain about their due compensation for the work that they do. It's not unheard of. We also have to look at it this way. Yes, you're doing a job but is everyone doing their job in these positions. Are these civil agencies serving the people as they should? Hospitals are severely understaffed and I'm speaking from personal experience. If you have all the bells and whistles in equipment, what's the purpose and you have no one who is qualified to use them? Where is the nursing school? Where is the medical school? 95% of the employees at the hospital are recruited from other countries. You see the current strike? Ok Then! We don't even have people from here to replace them and it's a damn shame.

    The education system needs revamping. You have a problem when your pass/fail standards so the govt HS doesn't look like a failure. Youth relocating from other countries are doing better than the youth from the Virgin Islands. Everyone can't afford private school. Government schools need to get up to par. It's not entirely their fault especially for students who want to learn. Teachers need to be qualified. Not everyone can educate. Set a standard and show results. Then Let's review and see where we can give increments over time at rates the government can afford to teachers who deserve it. The teachers who have been doing a great job won't have a problem but who can't come up to the standard need to go. That waste of money can go to resources for students as well as benefits for teachers who deserve it.

    I just want the Virgin Islands to always be great!!!! Let's acknowledge the people who are doing what they are supposed to and more. NDP is in control but everything is out of control. Stop robbing the country thus hurting the people. Let's build up our nation.
  • farmer brown (21/02/2017, 20:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Selective enforcement of the law is tantamount to a breach of the principle of the rule of law.
  • Foot Soilder (22/02/2017, 19:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What at a shame!! Using lies for political gains. Why didn't you call the news media and inform them that the allowances were paid out the the teachers last Friday. But you wanted to be so politically scandalous you did not wait even though you were asked to as it was being process. Shame on you !! Play fair do not cry foul when it is not so.
  • ... (22/02/2017, 19:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The pox on all the elected members houses. How do they sleep at night. Do they not realize that they represent all the people, not just the ndp voters

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