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Union president calls on PSU and SVGTU executive members to resign


President of the Public Service Union (PSU) Elroy Boucher said on Wednes­day that he thinks that the executive members of the PSU and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU) who did not heed the call for industrial action should resign.

Reports are that a number of executive members of both unions turned up for work on Tuesday,{{more}} October 13, the day the unions called a strike to protest the Government’s failure to meet their demand for one month’s tax-free salary, in lieu of a salary increase since 2011.

Boucher revealed that during a meeting to discuss strike action, members of both executives who were present agreed to strike and it was disheartening to see that on strike day, some of these persons went to work.

“When both unions met, the only person absent from teachers was Sheldon Govia; all were present and when asked about any objections, one person, Margaret, stated her objection, but then she gave way and said she was in support,” said Boucher, explaining that if the majority of members present had said they did not think that they should take such an action, then the strike would have been called off.

“…because you need the support of everybody and they gave us the support, so it is quite shocking, disappointing, that persons within both executives would break the strike.”

He said that this raises “some very serious questions” about trust and principles, “and even the very word integrity.”

Said Boucher, “…how could you therefore sit with these persons and make decisions? How can you trust them to carry out the mandate of the membership and I am convinced that those actions were taken because those executive members have a loyalty to their party, versus a commitment to the trade union and the workers they [are] supposed to represent.”

The PSU head said that no trade union executive member should have such a loyalty, where it excludes responsibility to your union and membership.

“You should not be a part of the union’s executive, because when parties change, you will still have to represent the union. On both sides we had that sort of behaviour,” said Boucher.

He noted that he was told that the PSU’s first vice-president Leroy James and public relations officer (PRO) and second vice-president Simeon Bacchus reported for work and

he is going to raise the issue at the next executive meeting.

“I would be making a similar call for them to resign, but that decision lies with the membership,” said Boucher, who noted that being a part of the PSU’s executive body calls for trust, but it is clear that these members’ loyalty lies with the political party they support.(LC)