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Teachers Union member accuses executive of double standards

Teachers Union member accuses executive of double standards

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The executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) is being accused of demonstrating a lack of solidarity by encouraging its members to hold out against the government’s vaccine mandate, while the entire executive is said to have taken the COVID-19 jab. 

SEARCHLIGHT was reliably informed of a WhatsApp message sent to the General Council by a member of the Union, as it relates to the vaccination status of the SVGTU executive, which read: “Good day colleagues, it has come to my attention that 100% of the national executive of the SVGTU is now vaccinated, some vaccinated as late as the end of last week yet we are encouraging other members to hold out… what exactly are we to hold out for?? Where was the SOLIDARITY when you didn’t follow your own instructions?? Our union continues to be eroded from within… May God help us all”. 

The General Council comprises the executive, branch presidents and secretaries and chairs of standing committees. It is the highest decision making body after general meetings.

Last Friday was the final day for teachers, and certain other categories of public workers to take a COVID-19 vaccine in order to maintain their posts in the public service. 

But the Union is rallying its members, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, to engage in strike action this week. 
“Please heed the call of the Union. Tomorrow is Tuesday, a day of strike, which means you do not go to work and also on Wednesday. Stay off the job. We are in a serious battle right now and we need everybody to work together so we can send that message to the state that the union stands against mandatory vaccination,” Oswald Robinson, the SVGTU president said in a voice message to teachers yesterday evening. 

Robinson said the union’s stance has always been against mandatory vaccination and that “this has nothing to do with whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated”. 

“Nobody is asking you to declare your status, whether you are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated…so we want everybody to come together and to work together as one,” he said. 

The union president added that the battle cannot be fought by the union alone and encouraged teachers to invite everyone to participate in nationwide protests scheduled for Friday, beginning at 9:30. 

Protest action is earmarked to take place at the Vegetable Market in Kingstown as well as in several Grenadines islands. 

“It’s a peaceful protest so we want you to make your placards and come. The Teachers Union will provide some food and some juice for you…the Branch that brings the most members…will receive a gift of two cases of soft drink,” Robinson said in his voice message. “So please come, come in your numbers. We’re not going to interfere with the flow of traffic. We want the traffic to flow. We’ll stay on the sidewalk and we’ll picket the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

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