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State of the SVGTU – A lost cause

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05.DEC.08

Editor: Never before in its over one hundred years history has there been so much criticism leveled at the SVGTU. Gone are the days when teachers, students and the general public viewed the SVGTU as a tower of strength where trade unionism was concerned. Now it seems that the Union is just a shadow of its former self.{{more}}

How has the Union disintegrated to this level? The SVGTU boasts of a good working relationship with the government – a government that talks – yet there is no conversation. The Union has had females as its president before, Yvonne Francis Gibson and Joy Browne; those were the days when teachers used to sing “The Union makes us strong”. Now it’s a far cry from the joyous days. Members are now saying that the representation is poor, some are even wondering in whose interest is the Union’s Executive working. Is there any conflict of interest? Should members sit on Boards of Government? These are the questions some members are now asking.

As it now stands, the SVGTU cannot function as it should:

  •  Many of the branches are in disarray
  •  Some schools have not seen the Executive at all
  •  Attempts to set-up a website, over 3 years, have failed
  •  Its ability to negotiate and bargain has malfunctioned
  •  Little or no benefit has come to the general membership
  •  When it comes to social issues – VAT, fuel price, electricity, cost of living, etc, the Union has been silent
  •  Communication between the Executive and the membership is on a go-slow
  •  The Union led the call for reclassification, yet, its members benefited the least
  •  The Union can hardly muster a quorum at a general meeting
  •  It appears as though unilateral decisions are made without consultation
  •  The Union’s newsletter (The Bulletin) has not surfaced for a long, long, time.

One thing is certain; the Union has lost its way. Its role as a Trade Union has been seriously curtailed, undermined and sabotaged.

Laymon Jack

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