Otto Sam calls it a day
September 21, 2007
Otto Sam calls it a day

The reclassification matter has been settled, it seems, and now President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) Otto Sam is calling it a day.{{more}}

Last Tuesday, September 18, at a press conference to announce the union’s position, which is one of satisfaction with the reclassification process, Sam announced his resignation from the presidency of the union.

As he handed the reins of power to 1st Vice President Joy Matthews, Sam, who is in his second term as president, said that he will be heading off to England to pursue post graduate studies in Education Leadership.

Sam said that he was glad to see the reclassification process reach thus far, and that he is confident that the executive will see the process through to an acceptable conclusion for teachers.

Regarding the reclassification exercise, Sam announced the Union’s formal position, which is among other things, to accept the report, ask the permanent secretary in the ministry to forward the union’s recommendations to Cabinet to adjust the areas of concern, and to make recommendations to have the Appeals Panel properly constituted to ensure fair, impartial and objective decisions.

Sam said that while 80 percent of the Union’s membership will be positively affected instantly by the reclassification, those in the teacher 1 and 2 positions will not.

He cited that in some cases, the minimum salary in some grades will increase by over $12,000, in others $10,000, and yet others $8,000 after the reclassification exercise is over.

“The Union though, having concerns about the pay scales generally and the recommended status of Teacher 1 and 2, is reasonably satisfied with the movement generally, even if some areas show greater movement,” Sam said.

Meanwhile Industrial Relations Officer Denniston Douglas told journalists that while the union will fight for the cause for members who are in the teacher 1 and 2 positions, some of those members lapsed, when opportunities for studying were available.

He said that while some teachers especially those in the rural areas and the Grenadines had good excuses for not taking up opportunities for training, there were others who over the years, neglected their development.

“Professional development is the teacher’s responsibility,” Douglas said.

“Persons have to make a conscious decision about their future,” he added.(KJ)