PRESIDENT of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU), Oswald Robinson has said he will not speak with SEARCHLIGHT Newspaper until it makes certain disclosures to him.
This position was made clear to a freelance reporter for the paper who approached Robinson for a comment at last Friday’s protest in Kingstown, organised by the union in rejection of the government’s vaccination policy.
Robinson said the paper had accused the union of double standards in relation to a story it carried in its December 7 midweek issue.
The story headlined “Teachers Union member accuses executive of double standards” quoted from a whatsapp message posted by a member of the union who accused the union’s executive of demonstrating a lack of solidarity by encouraging its members to hold out against the government’s vaccine mandate while the entire executive is said to have taken the jab.
Robinson refused to respond to questions except to say that he wants SEARCHLIGHT to tell him which member of the union gave the newspaper “the interview”.
Elaborating further, he said that information from their meeting had found its way to the paper and unless SEARCHLIGHT tells him who gave the information, he will not be speaking to the newspaper.
The position to not speak to this paper seemed to have been adopted by at least one person who, as part of a group of protesters yesterday, December 13 was approached by the same reporter but declined to say anything except that they are not speaking to SEARCHLIGHT because the paper is supporting Ralph Gonsalves and his mandatory vaccination.
Appearing at the scene of the small protest, about 1.30 p.m, Robinson, dressed in an orange and red outfit, also evaded attempts to photograph him.
The union has been organising a series of protest actions in an attempt to have the government repeal SR& O#28 -The Public Health (Public bodies Special Measures) Rules of 2021which mandates certain categories of public workers to be vaccinated in order to stay in their jobs.
When the deadline for these workers to be vaccinated expired on December 3, scores of the unvaccinated, including around 300 teachers were deemed to have resigned from their office and ceased to be employees of the state.
Robinson said on television yesterday that the union will be filing an injunction against the government later this week in respect of its vaccination policy.