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Eustace: I told you so!

Eustace: I told you so!


He didn’t say it in so many words, but Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace’s whole manner said “I told you so”, as he addressed the nation on the heels of the first day of a planned two-day strike action taken by teachers last Wednesday.{{more}}

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union called out its members in a two-day strike dubbed “Days of rest and reflection”, in protest of the just concluded reclassification exercise, which has left many teachers out in the cold as regards the new salary bands.

“For months prior to today’s development, I…along with other executive members of the party, have, on several occasions, particularly on radio, undertook to explain the nature of the reclassification exercise…I urged them not to be too hasty and to study the proposals carefully before acceptance,” said Eustace.

Eustace accused Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of tricking the public servants as regards the results of the reclassification process.

He said that the way that Dr Gonsalves spoke about the 10 per cent increases in salary and the average 6.5 per cent increases due to reclassification, many were fooled into believing that they were all going to benefit from the process.

“I am convinced that the rationale for the Independence Day announcement was to gloss over and disguise the real results of reclassification,” Eustace said.

Eustace, who said that he was ridiculed for voicing some of the concerns that he did about the process, said that it is now in the Government’s hands to fix the mess that they have created.

“…the true results of the reclassification exercise are known by the teachers and other public servants, and they are angry,’ Eustace said.

However, when pushed by journalists to say what can be done to rectify the brewing problem, Eustace said that he would not be offering any assistance to Government in this regard, but says that he knows what should be done.

He, however, denied Minister Michael Browne’s (who was then acting Prime Minister) notion that the situation which has arisen has caused rejoicing in the NDP camp.

“I look like I rejoicing?” Eustace asked, but he reiterated that “the teachers and others involved in this exercise have the constitutional right to take action to protect the interests of its members.”

“The strike is now in progress and many parents are naturally concerned. The government must now act quickly to resolve the grievances because the Public Servants, who are also dissatisfied, are meeting shortly,” Eustace said.

“The ball is back with Papa,’ he said mockingly, referring to Prime Minister Dr Gonsalves.

Eustace said that one of the major blunders in the reclassification process is that the discussions between persons involved in the process weren’t fully completed, but the exercise was instead rushed through.

“There is no one else to be tricked on this issue anymore, Comrade Ralph. You have bungled the reclassification exercise from the start by your cheap politics. Go now and solve it,” an adamant Eustace said.