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Joy Matthews does not stand alone!

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05.DEC.08

Editor: Last week I wrote that some elements of the Teachers’ Union Executive were pursuing their own agenda, and that recent developments have brought this out. As a member of the Teachers’ Union, I am asking the General Secretary the following questions:{{more}}

(1) Why is it that the President has to learn for the first time about the letter asking for her resignation in the press?

(2) For years you were the Constitution expert in the Union, please explain to me article 4.4.4 of the Union’s Constitution, which states that: “A member of the National Executive may be removed from office by a National General Meeting on the recommendation of the General Council.” Do you and your cohorts now constitute a general meeting and the General Council?

(3) Please explain if in your capacity as an employer,you did humiliate an employee to the point where she broke down in tears and went to the washroom to compose herself. Did you demand her to leave the building immediately and proceed on a one-week suspension? Have you ever heard of due process? What will be your reaction if the Chief Education Officer did this to a teacher? The worker was just trying to defend herself against the charge that she was a liar, and a subsequent investigation proved that she was correct and that you were wrong.

(4) My final question is how many teachers have you recruited as members in the last 11 years? I cannot remember meeting a single person during those 11 years who said that they were recruited by you. I am getting old, so I may have forgotten. You should concentrate on construction not destruction.

The remark by Mr. Vanloo that he will not sit with the President of the Teachers’ Union is as irrelevant as the Green Party stating that it is going to hold a mass protest in Kingstown. But I might be wrong, the Green Party might just have more followers than he. I have always been baffled as to how he came up with the 13%, since the combined inflation rates for 2006, 2007 and 2008 are more than 13%.

Is it true that you are the one who recommended to your friends in the SVGTU, against the expressed wishes

of the President, to withdraw from Constitutional Reform and salary negotiations?

Look at how the world has changed. An individual who was once elected to serve on the National Executive and was so hard to be found to perform his duties as Treasurer, despite living only a few yards from the Union Office, can now find time to find teachers, real or imaginative, to sign a petition against the President. Is this part of the market square strategy to use the Union as your battering ram against the government? Is Joy standing in the way? If you think she is alone, then think again!

I have no problem with persons who oppose the government; disagree with the Prime Minister from time to time; or sing their choir’s favourite song, “fill my cup, so fill it up,” that is your right. Please don’t be mistaken, I will oppose any government if workers are not getting a fair share of the pie, and my record speaks for itself. Clearly, if the Opposition Leader is expressing concern about the high budgetary allocation for the wages and salaries, then union leaders have to be reasonable and give the government a high grade for trying.

Denniston Douglas

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