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Teachers’ Issues – Time to change the song!

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Fri, Nov 11. 2011

Editor: I have heard the plight of teachers, those affected by Article 16 (Election Leave) – the SVGTU’s call for them to be reemployed and or reinstated, and have also empathised with Elvis Daniel’s weekly pleas for his job.{{more}}

Frankly, I believe that it’s time to sing and dance to a new song! The present one has not worked, and is unlikely to work. Hence, the President’s recent call is useless!

I have repeatedly made the point that what is needed is for the government’s actions to be tested in the court. Let the learned Judges pronounce on it!

Is the Agreement valid? Was it negotiated in good faith? Did government’s legal person mislead her Cabinet? Did the Chief Personnel Officer act properly to refer the teachers to the Constitution, instead of granting leave as directed by the Agreement? Were comments attributed to Minister Burgin, that “teachers should not get back jobs because they criticized the education revolution prejudicial/unconstitutional?” Was the Service Commissions’ Chairman’s public position that ‘the teachers should be reinstated as if they never broke service over-ruled, and by who?’ Can the Union do its research on the policy pronouncements by the Prime Minister, about reinstating teachers who contest and lose in General Elections? – Frank Dasilva and Budget notes can help! Wasn’t the PM the chief proponent? Can they research his practice of re-employing those of the past?

As we celebrate Teachers’ Solidarity Week – The Union and its members must stop begging, and crying. We must struggle for what we believe is rightfully ours! Do you think we would have had the Credit Union if those of the 70s begged? What was meant for evil turned out to be the best thing ever for teachers.

The Union’s Leadership and members must embrace the evil, wicked, and unjust victimization of its members by this heartless government re: Article 16 and a path, a route, to have the court rule. Teachers might be reinstated retroactively to the time they re-applied. More importantly, present and future governments will be forced to respect and honour the Agreement. And teachers who are now fearful of ever contesting again will come forward with greater confidence. Let us change the tune, teachers!

The changing of the tune will also direct government and their officials to negotiate the 5th Collective Agreement which they have so far refused to do!

Our heroes of the past are ashamed of our kneeling, begging and prostituting! Let us stand up and fight for what is right! There is no better way to celebrate Teachers’ Solidarity Week!

Otto Sam

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