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Song and dance of the SVG Teachers’ Union

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Editor: The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) went on strike unreasonably without the support of its members. The strike was ineffective. The President of the Union was side-lined; Otto Sam and Philbert John took centre-stage and led the teachers to defeat.{{more}} As a face-saving measure they called off the strike “temporarily” to await “mediation”. Do you strike first and then ask for mediation when your strike fails? In any event, reclassification is in the remit of the employer, that is, the Government. There is nothing to mediate. I expect that Ralph would apply the outcomes of the reclassification process and pay the monies by the end of November. The teachers, for the most part, are better off under the government’s proposals.

The Government has asked for salary negotiations to start for 2009-2011, inclusive, and other outstanding matters. The Prime Minister has indicated that he is prepared to discuss with the SVGTU “the partnership issues” between them. The leadership of SVGTU has replied that they are not participating in any discussion on salaries, other issues, or “the partnership”. It’s mediation on reclassification first, or nothing!

So, the Government will no doubt impose salary increases and implement other measures. The leadership of the SVGTU or a rump thereof is leading the teachers to a dead-end. They are childish and foolish. It is a path to their destruction. The rank-and-file teachers must reclaim their Union from silly agitators.

Brinsley Nanton