Collective Agreement signed
November 11, 2005

Collective Agreement signed

Education in the Southern Grenadines will soon be enhanced with the availability of more teachers for that part of the country.

A special clause in a new Collective Agreement signed Thursday, November 3, between the Government and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union laid the platform for the improvements.{{more}}

Industrial Relations Officer for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union, Denniston Douglas expressed satisfaction with the development even before it was officially endorsed.

Douglas was echoing the feeling of Edwin Snagg Unity Labour Party Senator assigned responsibility for Labour and Grenadines Affairs.

Snagg is the ULP candidate for the Southern Grenadines. He was in Bequia Saturday, October 29, to support his Northern Grenadine colleague Herman Belmar.

Snagg pointed to injustices that Grenadines’ residents and workers had been subjected to, but for him, the signing of the new Collective Agreement with the Teachers’ Union marked an important juncture in the delivery of education in the Southern Grenadines.

According to Article 19 of the updated Labour pact: “The Employer shall appoint all teachers from the Grenadines attending the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers College as Teacher One, providing the Teacher signs a bond to work in the Grenadines for three years after obtaining his/her certificate or associate degree.”

Teachers on Mayreau, Union Island and Canouan will benefit from the Agreement.

Douglas admitted that the Southern Grenadines encountered problems at the start of the school term.

The reluctance of mainlanders to go to the Grenadines was cited as one factor contributing to the teacher shortage.

Relief Teachers are appointed from September to July. Unless they get a stipend from the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Programme, most of them find it difficult to attend the Teachers’ College at Arnos Vale on mainland St. Vincent.

Teachers have to go to the Teachers College before they are appointed.

Douglas pointed out that teachers had been reluctant to return to the Grenadines once they qualified.

The new Agreement paves the way for Grenadines’ teachers to return to their original home districts.

Teachers from mainland assigned to the Grenadines will be given additional allowances for accommodation.

Graduate teachers at the Multi-Purpose Centres and the School for Children with Special Needs have been recognised, and they will get rewards for their certification.

Teachers One to Five have been given increases in allowances from $480 to $590.

Those from Teacher Five and above including Tutors at the School of Nursing will get $710, an upgrade of $110.

Graduate teachers at the School for Children with Special Needs will get an annual sum of $1,000.