Otto Sam calls on government to start reclassification exercise
June 23, 2006

Otto Sam calls on government to start reclassification exercise

The militant president of the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union, Otto Sam, is calling on the government to reactivate the committee dealing with the Reclassification Exercise to ensure the new mechanism is implemented by January 1, 2007 as stipulated by the Collective Agreement.

Sam at a press conference on Tuesday, June 20, said the union is working along with the Ministry of Education to ensure that teachers receive their benefits outlined in the Collective Agreement.{{more}}

“We agreed on increasing the number of Senior Qualified Assistant Teachers by 60; so we have 130 in the system presently and we will increase that by 60. We have also agreed that we should be working on indicators, objectives and job descriptions generally for Teachers with Master s degrees – something that we are going to introduce. Heads of Departments is something also that we have in the Collective Agreement that the Reclassification Exercise will also address but we are working out the mechanics with the Ministry of Education,” said Sam.

Sam noted that though the union believes the exercise could take place without the committee it prefers to deal with the committee as a means of following procedure.

Meanwhile, Deniston Douglas, Industrial Relations Officer, stated that the union’s top priority at the moment is clearly the reclassification of teachers. He said this issue has been on the back burner for the past five years. Douglas noted that when the Collective Agreement was signed with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in November 2005 it was decided at that point to reactivate the committee dealing with the Reclassification Exercise, but to this date there has been no attempt to do so.

“We are concerned that there is no attempt to reactivate that committee,” said Douglas.

The union said (about a month ago) it wrote a letter directly to Prime Minister Gonsalves about the matter.

The Reclassification Exercise entails issues of re-grading of teachers, creation of new posts among other things.

Sam used the opportunity to congratulate all students that passed the Common Entrance Examination, as well as Education Officer Marcus Caine and his team for preparing the results in a record two weeks.