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SVGTU says the battle over reclassification is not over

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The government may have paid reclassification monies in last month’s pay-packets but the St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) says that the battle over reclassification is not over.{{more}}

At a press conference last Wednesday, where the executive also announced the dismissal of Joy Matthews as president, the SVGTU executive declared that the union was “still in a state of dispute with government”, over the implementation of the R2 salary bands.

General Secretary of the union, Philbert “Pee John” John said that at the meeting last Tuesday, the membership decided to implement a four part plan.

Firstly, John said that the union will again try to engage the government, hoping that they will reconsider their stance and negotiate with the union.

If that fails, they then plan to write to Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne and request that he evokes the Trade Dispute Arbitration and Enquiry Act.

The act allows for the Governor General to establish an arbitrary council to look into labour disputes.

John also said that the union will also be seeking the assistance of the International Labour Organization.

Interestingly, John said that the union plans to engage in an educational programme on the issue of reclassification, which will take the form of a formal seminar.

He admitted that their efforts to educate the union’s membership on all the factors and steps that have been taken in the process was not up to mark when he said, “Perhaps this should have been done at the very beginning, but one did not think that we would be at this point.”

Meanwhile, acting President Sheldon Govia said that at the dawn of 2009, the union plans to address some other concerns raised by its membership. These concerns include the function of the union’s sub branches, regular updates to the membership by the executive and the setting up of a website for the union. (KJ)