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Burgin says: No Rehire

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Minister of Housing Clayton Burgin finds it difficult to understand why after criticizing the Education Revolution, three teachers who contested the General Elections on a New Democratic Party (NDP) ticket are asking that they be re-employed.{{more}}

Burgin made the comments last Sunday evening, while addressing a meeting of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) at Glen, in his East St. George constituency.

“I am not the Service Commissions, neither the Minister of Education, but if I have my way, they stay where they are,” said Burgin, adding “and that’s it.”

Burgin said if the trio of Elvis Daniel, Kenroy Johnson and Addison Thomas had won their seats, they would have been in Parliament.

“They would not have been in the classroom, so we ain’t miss them. We done put people in their places ah ready. So we are happy with the way things are going. Then again, I said I am not the Minister of Education, neither the Service Commission Department,” said Burgin.

He said he heard Thomas once bashing the Education Revolution.

“Now, if Arnhim had so much concern about them, he could ah put two ah them as senator and one as his Research Officer and kill the thing long time and done with that,” said Burgin.

He said that he will not tell Arnhim Eustace, Leader of the Opposition, what to do.

Pharmacist Curtis Bowman, who also resigned his post in the public service, as required by the Constitution, when he contested the Marriaqua seat for the NDP, has not been re-employed.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union Public Relations Officer Vibert Lampkin, at a press conference, called on the Government to reinstate the teachers. He made the call based on the Collective Agreement that was signed between the Government and the Teachers’ Union in 2005. He said that it was the fourth Collective Agreement.

In that Collective Agreement, there is a particular clause, Clause 16, which deals with Elections Leave.

“…In that clause, it states that teachers who are members of the Teachers’ Union for three years onwards and are pursuing to be part of a political organization to contest General Elections, that they be allowed to do so and if they are not successful, that they be reinstated.

“In fact it went on to say that they should be reinstated at the beginning of the following term of the school year,” said Lampkin.

He said the men had to resign because, under the Constitution, one cannot be a public servant and contest General Elections.

He disclosed that a letter was sent to Chief Personnel Officer Tyrone Burke in January, outlining the position that the Union has on the matter and called on the Government to have the teachers reinstated.

At the time, he said the Union had not received a response.