TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Teacher wins discrimination suit - EntornoInteligente

Entornointeligente.com / News day / Homeward teaches at the Speyside High School. In their ruling, the appellate court judges found that Homeward was a victim of discrimination.

The court granted a declaration that her constitutional right to equality of treatment was violated.

It ordered that compensation for the breaches to her rights be assessed by a Master of the High Court.

Homeward was represented by a legal team led by Anand Ramlogan SC, Jayanti Lutchmedial and Chelsea Stewart. The State was represented by Senior State Counsel Linda Khan. Homeward’s had complained of the failure of the Ministry of Education to recognise her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Andrews University.

She graduated with the degree in August 2001 and was asked to assume duty at the Cascade School for the Deaf to teach computer studies. She wrote the Ministry of Education seeking to have her position reassessed and upgraded to a Teacher III in light of the fact that she now had a degree. The Ministry asked that she pursue further courses at the UWI. She visited the ministry’s Couva office and was given conflicting information that the highest position someone with a degree from Andrews University could be given was a Teacher II.

Homeward’s attorneys obtained the relevant certification from the Accreditation Council which stated that her degree from Andrews was a recognised degree program and was on par with any other similar degree being offered by other institutions. Homeward filed her constitutional claim on March 29, 2010, contending she was a victim of discrimination and unfair treatment as many of her other colleagues who had graduated with the same degree had been reassessed and upgraded to the position of Teacher III. She provided names of several teachers who were upgraded.

Homeward’s case was dismissed by Justice Ventour on February 6, 2014. Ventour retired in 2012 without delivering judgement in several cases. He was subsequently appointed Deputy Chairman of the Integrity Commission but following a public outcry and at least one lawsuit, Ventour resigned from the Integrity Commission and was reappointed a judge for one day to deliver his outstanding judgments.

He was then reappointed to the Commission as deputy chairman.

Concerns had been raised about the decision reappoint Ventour and Chief Justice Ivor Archie, as head of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, was criticised for the move.

Speaking on the outcome of her case, Homeward said while she was relieved she was extremely hurt, frustrated, worried and disappointed when my case was at its end and the trial judge retired without giving his judgement.

TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Teacher wins discrimination suit

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