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Accept nine percent teachers

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Foh de last couple ah years ah been teaching some kids to play de Cuatro at two Primary Schools, three days ah week foh half hour de most. Nice lickle kids, ah like dem but ah will not want a minute more dan de half hour. Teaching is not easy, any committed person who got to teach our children full time, must be treated with respect and given ah good pay-check!{{more}}

De Teachers are on strike and while dey have my support, ah wonder if de negotiations had reached de point way de only choice remaining was withdrawal of service. Ah feel dat when yuh strike, yuh play yuh last, best card and if it does not wuk, as ah unit yuh are weaker foh yuh efforts. Ah maintain dat these are hard times, our E-con-ah-me is not as bright as de P.M. wid his long talk, would have us to believe. In fact, world situation does not permit SVG’s economy to be as good as he would want us to believe. And foh all yuh know, his pull-it-tek-all wretch-trick could be sending de wrong signals to de teachers and public servants. How could he on one hand be writing half ah million dollars cheque for de Lawyers appearing in de all-edge rape case involving his name, and on de other hand telling Teachers no money dey?

De flip side ah de coin is emotional. Teachers are de only wukers who does have to wuk, and den foh dem to get ah decent pay, does have to protest, sick-out, strike, tek de risk ah losing dey wuk and get victim-eyes foh dey justice. In de 1950’s de leaders ah de Teachers Association (Union), men like Tommy Saunders and Charles Hercules were victim-eyes foh de Teachers struggle. In 1975 Minister Mike Browne and others slept behind bars foh de Teachers struggle, and today de Teachers are on de streets again foh de same struggle.

WHAT YUH SOW YUH REAP

About nine years ago de Teachers marched foh dey Justice, when dey asked NDP foh ah 30 per cent increase, Arm-in Eustace at de time told dem point blank, he didn’t have it, not ah scent more dan 13 per cent he said. But PM Gonsalves was in Ah-position back den, he jumped on de Teacher’s bandwagon and promised dem de 30 per cent. Ah wonder if all de increases de Teachers got from de ULP over de last 8 years, reach 30 % yet. And dat is de kind ah disrespect, trickery dat everybody been feeding Teachers, dat ah resent.

No one can deny dat de ULP administration and de SVUT executive have had ah good relationship, and Teachers have had some good packages, in fact members of de SVUT’s executives who incidentally are ULP card carrying members, openly stated dat de SVUT has seen its best days under de ULP. While dat could be true, ah want to add dat executive members cannot say otherwise; ask my friend Utter-sum, Fitz Jones, Deniston, PSU Weekes, PNO Scott and ah whole set ah others, by strange coincidence, de top ah de cake wid de cream and icing ended up in dey plate, study grants, promotions, big paying jobs, perks dat border sell-out, so much so, dey causing people to brand de whole SVUT as an arm ah de ULP. Look out foh Utter-sum’s reply to me next week.

As ah overs de SVUT’s plight, dey are asking foh benefits dat dey suppose to get from ah Re-classification exercise, benefits dat both sides have agreed. De SVUT asked foh 13 per cent, dey are down to 10 per cent but de PM Gone-soft d’s days, he offering his mystical number 7 per cent, ah wonder if he remember dat 7 days makes one WEAK! Presently he’s on his knees, begging de teachers to accept dis offer and go back to wuk. Dis sounds like ah reverse ah de parable wid de first servant who owed de King ah ten thousand talent debt, he couldn’t pay so he and his wife went on dey knees and begged foh debt forgiveness, de King wrote off dey debt. Soon after de first servant received his debt forgiveness, he went outside and confronted ah second servant who had owed him one hundred denarii, similarly de second servant couldn’t pay, he too went on bended knees and begged de first servant foh mercy, but dat wicked fellah refused and had him sent to prison. News got back to de King, who sent foh de first servant and mashed him up, after confronting him foh his wicked actions, he turned him over to de jailers. Yuh hear way ole people say, “wha go round dat way, does come back round dis way!” De P.M. is reaping ah dose ah his own bush med-sin!

Dis is serious business, de Teachers on strike, de PSU promise to join in support from dis Friday, Consumers marching every week protesting Vinlec’s unholy, unethical fuel sur-charge on electricity bills. Surely ah pattern dat beginning to look rather familiar. Maybe as ah last effort, de Guv-ah-mint could offer 9 per cent and de Teachers could mek ah lickle ole style and den grab it! If anybody see me friend Ken John, tell him ah say Tri Tri foh certain, next Fri-dey. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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