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De three bulls and de lion

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According to one of “Aesop’s Fables, dey were three vicious and angry Bulls (Teachers, Public Servants and Van Drivers). Dey were United and bonded in friendship. Dey always moved and grazed together leaving no space foh predeators. But in de same forest, dey was Brer Lion, de king ah de forest, but ah predeator who quietly kept ah distance watching and preying pon dem Bulls. Oh how he wished foh ah way to get dem torn apart and weakened to feast pon dem.{{more}} Every morning Brer Lion sharpening he teeth and appetite, hoping to find ah way to eat them Bulls who remained United, not only did dey graze together, but dey positioned dem-selves back-to-back or tail-to-tail, literally touching each other, way dey could keep dem keen eyes and sharply spiked horns pointed towards de NME. Brer Lion dare not even think of an attack, because he knew dat once dem Three Bulls stuck together, dey would bore holes in him like ah grater! Desperate-shun began creeping in on both sides, time was running out (Elect-shuns), as well as grass (ah one off month’s) was running scarce. As de grazing area reduced considerably, de hungry and angry Bulls naturally shifted closer to Brer Lion whose back by now, was against de MT forest (Treasury). Wid Hunger and Greed on one side (de Bulls) and Power and Pride (Ralph) on de other side, somebody had to brake! Ten-shun as de days passed by, it took only one small problem (greed, salary or bonus) to breed discontent among dem Bulls. De problem got bigger and bigger, wid de bulls pull’n’tug’n and fighting among themselves; de result was dat de once tightly knit Union broke-up. (de coated Red Van Drivers backed-down, Teachers went half-heartedly on strike and Public Servants was ah No-show). Remember how dat Kaisonian sang it: “SVG mash up and Ralph is to blame.” He could change dat to “ Trade Unions mash-up!”

As each bull went on its own way to live an in-deep-an-dent zone, de moment Brer Lion was waiting for finally arrived, Division! One by one he attacked and killed dem off and ate dem raw.” There endeth de Fable!

UNIONS BADLY ADVISED

Lie-Za say de Teachers and Public Servants dem got ah lot ah questions to answer. Firstly, de Unions have ah case to fight and win, but were badly advised. Did de executive meet wid Union Branches foh final go-head to strike, would not “Ah sick-out, report sick” bin ah safer opt-shun? Dey not Trade Union ready and should revert to dey former name Sin Vincent Teachers Association (SVTA) and Civil Service Associate-shun (CSA).

She added dat if de president of de CSA does not overs what is written in de Estimates, does not know de difference between ah salary increase foh de PM and a compounded increase foh all Parliamentarians, ah resignation is due. After dey done organ-eyes members to withdraw dey services foh one day, four members stayed off de job, four turned up to wuk and one is on leave. Dis is really “Time to examine de horns.” Both Associations should call fresh elect-shun now, and select persons who are experienced Trade Unionists, prepared to represent de wukers’ interest first and pull-it-tek-all affiliate-shun last.

Both sides claiming victory. De Prime Minister was on Radio and TV all weekend, begging de Wukers not to stay away from de job, reminding dem “what ah good boy am I!”.

Yes it was ah poor show by Teachers, Dey lost Round One as de General Membership did not give physical support. But did de Teachers win ah victory in 2001 or back den were de 1700 strong membership simply exploited, given glorious promises, forced to sleep in bed wid de ULP helping dem win Go-venom-mint. Today 14 years after, we hearing boasts of de great things dat were done foh Teachers, see who benefited: loyal card carrying members, Principals and Graduates totaling no more dan 200, what about de rank and file, de 1500 dissatisfied and disgruntled members.

Remember it was no big March when Teachers were tear-gassed in 1975; however, dat date remains on de Teacher’s Calendar of events and next month de Teachers and de Nation will commemorate Tear Gas Friday. As small as it was, Tuesday 13th October 2015, will be recorded in our His-story as de day when 15 or 40 percent of de Teachers took industrial act-shun against de Ralph Gone-soft “Labour Love Yuh” Go-venom-ment.

Bad Blood running deep between Wukers and Employer and who is going to stop de helm-rage, de bleeding. De country cannot continue like dis, maybe one way or de other, de Elect-shun could help bring closure to all ah dis confuse-shun. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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