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, Glen J. Smith, 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.
In a letter to the governor, Smith suggested that, like vendors who are owed for services rendered, the teachers are entitled to a payout.
"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 with 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 by deposited into the Union Arbitration Award and Increment Fund.
The union president, asked whether the average payout to government workers
would amount to a significant portion of what is owed to unionized public school teachers, said it was 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 said.
Government House has not responded to the unsolicited advice offered by the AFT president.

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