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Some teachers make no sense

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19.DEC.08

EDITOR: This letter is directed specifically to the Otto Sam – Philbert John wing of the Teachers’ Union.

They say that they and the Cools Vanloo group in the Public Service Union (PSU) plan to continue the struggle on the Phase Two of the Reclassification process. They threaten all kinds of activity. What is their grouse?{{more}} They want $200,000 back-dated to July 1st, 2008, to be paid to some 1,600 teachers and public servants. But, on an average, this works out to $20.83 per person per month. Surely, these people cannot be serious about waging a battle on this. This gives credence to the PM’s assertion that there is more in the mortar beside the pestle. Perhaps, political and personal agendas are at stake. Is this an anti-Ralph clique masquerading as principled trade unionism?

Additionally, the plot to remove Joy Matthews as President of the Union stinks to high heavens. There are lots of comments on the radio by reputable people like Joy Browne who insist that the process which led to the vote at the recent general meeting of the Union was constitutional. In any event, commonsense, and even a passing interest in democracy should tell you that it is plain wrong to remove a President with a mere 42 votes out of a total membership of 1,350. This is a President who won in a three-way fight with over 400 votes. So, 42 said “yes” to removing her; 24 said “no”; and 10 abstained. This total of 76 votes being less than the required quorum of 78 further makes Matthews’ removal ridiculous.

This is at best democratic formality without democratic substance or content. It has the ring of an undemocratic lynching. The broad mass of teachers are sick to the pits of their stomachs about it all. Vincentians as a whole wonder if these are the people who are teaching their children Civics and proper behaviour.

Are the “bona fide” teachers going to take back their Union?

B.A. Charles
(former Teacher)

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