Dear Virgin Islands Community:
I am writing this letter on behalf of all the substitute teachers in the United States Virgin Islands. We are now going into the sixth pay period and have yet to be paid. This means we have worked for 12 consecutive weeks without a paycheck or some form of communication. We have not even been notified as to when we will be paid.
Many of us are new graduates who have been hired under the guise of “substitute” but are operating as full-time teachers. Anytime we try to inquire about our pay, we are met with curt responses that leave much to be desired. We are constantly being told that our NOPAS have not been signed but are being “worked on.”
This is unfair to us as we are working as full-time teachers and are often extending ourselves far beyond the role of teaching. Many of us are involved in organizations for our respective schools and work late hours trying to do the best we can as “subs” aka teachers.
It feels as though we do not have a voice and that our concerns are just being swept under the mat because we do not have a union that represents us. It is hard to survive with no pay, and many of us are struggling.
We ask that the community come forward and fight for and with us! Where are our leaders? Help us fight for our rights and pay! We are teaching your children and trying to do the best that we can with little to no resources.
Simple things, such as internet service, are an issue because we cannot afford the bill! We are being evicted and forced to move in with family! Someone has to have answers. Whose desk are our NOPAS sitting on? We need to be paid! Help Us Please!
Sincerely, A Frustrated Substitute Teacher
Keith A. Smith Sr.