Home News Local news GLEN SMITH OFFERS ADVICE ON AT&T SETTLEMENT

GLEN SMITH OFFERS ADVICE ON AT&T SETTLEMENT

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The president of the St. Thomas St. John Federation of Teachers Union is calling on Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to allocate the monies from the AT&T settlement to pay public school teachers a portion of their back pay and negotiated salary increases.
Glen J. Smith, in correspondence to the governor, said that like vendors who are owed for services rendered, the teachers are entitled to a payout. And they're entitled to it now, he said.
"It would be in the best interest of the governor and the economy of the Virgin Islands if the money is disbursed to the teachers and other government workers so they can begin their Christmas shopping," Smith said Monday.
The money Smith spoke about is $2.3 million, half of the amount the government realized in a settlement from the telecommunications giant. The long-distance company was fined for causing a drilling mud spill during cable-laying operations at Butler Bay, St. Croix.
By law, half of any environmental settlement must be deposited into the Union Arbitration Award and Increment Fund.
Asked whether the average payout to government workers would amount to a significant portion of what is owed to unionized public school teachers, Smith said it is more a question of principle than amount.
"I don’t know what formula the governor will use to distribute these funds, but during these difficult financial times, every penny counts," Smith added.
There has been no public response from Government House on the AFT president's unsolicited advice.

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