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SVGTU threatens to strike if demands are not met

SVGTU threatens to strike if demands are not met

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Teacher Union (SVGTU) has now turned its request for a one month compensatory tax-free salary from the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines into a demand.

And it is speaking of possible strike action{{more}} if their demands are not met.

This follows a meeting involving just under 100 teachers on Wednesday September 2 at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School called to discuss how to address the salary matter.

A document setting out their resolve noted that “whereas teachers have gone for 4-5 years without salary increase…the SVGTU has called on the government to pay a one month salary in lieu of deferred salary increase.”

Further that “whereas the government has failed to meet the demand of the SVGTU; be it resolved that this body endorses the demand made by the SVGTU and be it further resolved that the SVGTU will engage in all necessary action to bring national and international attention to the situation.”

Early last month, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said in Parliament that the union’s request was still under review after issuing a joint communiqué in April to the union stating that Government was unable to commit to the proposal.

He further explained that the SVGTU and the Government had reached an agreement to shelve the matter unless …”there were some changes to the circumstances.”

The President of the SVGTU, Oswald Robinson, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT said that a letter was already prepared for submission to the Prime Minister outlining the union’s position.

Robinson also revealed that “as we continue to mobilize” there is a possibility of strike action if their demands are not met.

Robinson said there will be Branch meetings beteen Sptember 14-17 to formulate strategizes to deal with the proposal.

He said that people may see their pay demands as unreasonable but poinetd out that “the PM said we are not unreasonable,” and they have been patiently waiting.

He also observed that the timing of the demand was no fault of theirs but that of the politicians.

The proposal for payment of one month’s salary was formally submitted to the Prime Minister in February this year following talks between the SVGTU and the Public Service Union (PSU) in December 2014.

As a show of solidarity the Presitdent said he was asking all teachers to wear black wrist bands until the matter is resolved.

(CM)

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