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Newly elected president of SVGTU on a vigorous membership drive

Newly elected president of SVGTU on a vigorous membership drive


Oswald Robinson, newly elected president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU), says that his focus for the organization is to get all its structures and programs functioning properly.{{more}}

Speaking exclusively to SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, Monday, February 27, Robinson indicated that he was once again pleased to return to the helm of the union, which he presided over for two consecutive two-year terms from 2001 to 2004.

He said that this time around, emphasis will be based on getting the branches functioning the way they should.

“The executive cannot carry out the work of the union without the branches… and also the general council is supposed to meet once per term…. So, I have to get the branches back on their feet, so that the general council could get to meet.

“And then we have to look at stewards in every educational institution. We have to get that going, as well as we have to ensure that we have the standing committees functioning again, so that they could execute the programs of the Teachers’ Union.”

Robinson was elected over a two-day period last week, beating out Ronald Clarke and Sheldon Govia, as union members selected an executive, which is mandated to handle the affairs of the union for the next two years.

Also elected last Wednesday and Thursday were First Vice President Ray LaBorde, Second Vice President Hugh Wyllie, General Secretary Margaret Lewis Jackson, Assistant General Secretary Jane Farrel, Treasurer James Wilson, and Committee Members Kent Caine and Gloria Endeavour.

According to elections committee chairperson Carlos Williams, there was a 62 per cent turnout of the just over 1,100 members.

Robinson also stressed that a vigorous membership drive, as well as strategies to get teachers motivated, are also on his agenda. He pointed out that a public relations plan would be put in place, so that the workings of the Union would be made known to all.

“You can’t be doing things and people don’t know what you doing. You had a Teachers’ Union newsletter that used to come out every month; that has to come back on stream, as well as monthly television programs. We had already built up a good relationship with the media under my leadership; we want to get back that.

“I am going to go out on a very serious and vigorous membership drive, to regain those who would have left the union, and will try to get new persons to join the union; that is generating more income for the union, and the union would be able to execute more programs.”

Robinson said that attention would be paid to retired teachers, sports programs, special awards for teachers and branches, and of course the issue of the collective bargaining agreement.

“There is a lot of work we have to do… and I can’t wait to get started; we have to start right now.”

Also a past Public Relations Officer of the union, Robinson thanked the teachers who voted for him in the elections and called on the other members to come on board to take the union forward.

The new executive is expected to be sworn in at the national convention in April this year.(JJ)