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Joy Matthews: We love the children

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In the face of charges that the students are the worst affected by the industrial action taken by teachers this week, President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union Joy Matthews claims that the teachers have the interest of students at heart.{{more}}

Matthews, at the Union’s press conference on Tuesday, stated that the two days of rest and reflection would not affect the studies of children, but hopes that the impasse between the teachers and policy makers could be resolved soon so that things could get back to normal.

She refuted claims made by many, including acting Prime Minister Mike Browne, that students are being held ransom by teachers.

“We will never hold children as hostages,” Matthews said.

“We love those children more than some of the parents. We know them individually. We know when they are sick, when they are hungry. We love those children.”

The Union’s Industrial Relations Officer Denniston Douglas indicated that there are parents and students who are ready and willing to ‘wear red’ in support of the teachers.

Matthews also denied the acting Prime Minister’s statement that the actions taken may have been politically motivated, citing the Union’s close relationship with the Unity Labour Party’s administration in the past.

“We are neither ULP or NDP when it comes to teachers.”

She said that the Union was representing the interest of its membership, which is seeking better representation in the reclassification exercise.

“This is our bread and butter issue. Teachers here are the lowest paid in the OECS.” (JJ)

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