Front Page
August 13, 2004


Three weeks before the new school year begins on September 6, Teachers and Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports Mike Browne are taking different lessons, and the subjects are relayed in the public.
Minister Browne produced one version last Monday in response to a meeting between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Union of Teachers. {{more}}
Minister Browne chose a Meeting of Principals of Educational Institutions at Peace Memorial Hall to speak about matters with the Union.
The following day, the Union provided their angle, and described Browne’s address as a Press meeting.
President of the SVGTU Otto Sam, with executive officers Deniston Douglas, Calvert Woods, Adonis Charles, and Secretary Joy Matthews, highlighted several burning issues affecting membership and education.
Sam accused the Ministry of “tardiness and or refusal to implement decisions taken at quarterly and other meetings.”
He referred to treatment meted out to the Union as “contempt” and of their “continued exclusion in issues affecting membership and education.”
Sam accused the Minister of “going down a dangerous line.”
And Sam mentioned that the SVGTU did not belong to the Minister. The Union was not pleased with the manner in which appointments were made and Sam disclosed that the selection of persons for the post was not ‘transparent.”
Browne was also regarded as “disrespectful” to the Union.
The SVGTU “honours” the Minster’s contribution to the Union and education, according to Sam, but that he was ‘offensive that he can tell us who the Union team should consist of.”
Sam added that Browne ought to understand that “even with his tangible contribution to the SVGTU, and a number of positive things the government is doing for education, this does not give/Ministry of Education the right to be the guardian of the SVGTU.”
The Union was not a street child or an orphan but a key stakeholder in education, Sam pointed out.
As far as Sam was concerned, Minister Browne ought to “shake up himself.” He charged the Minister of not fulfilling roles and that he was “dishonest.”
Sam ruled out confrontation, but encouraged Principals to “ignore” Browne’s advice not to suspend students without the Ministry’s knowledge.
And the Union ‘will not shy away from its responsibility to give effective representation to its members by addressing vexed issues.”
The Union asked the Ministry “not to slight the SVGTU and challenged Minister Browne and his top team to exert influence and inspiration in the Ministry of Education which will ensure positive results and improved relations with stakeholders.”