SVGTU accepts 1.5 per cent increase
November 16, 2012
SVGTU accepts 1.5 per cent increase

President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SGVTU), Oswald Robinson, announced on Tuesday that the union has agreed to accept half of the 3 per cent salary increase in December that was offered by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.{{more}}

The agreement was finalized after back to back meetings between the executive body of the union and Prime Minister Gonsalves on Monday evening. The executive also met with representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“1.5 per cent is coming for December and then we are carefully studying the economic situation so that, sometime next year, you are expected the other 1.5 per cent.

“There is no set date for the next payment,” Robinson told teachers on Tuesday at Frenches House, during the union’s C.W. Prescod Memorial Lecture.

Robinson’s announcement was not fully endorsed by all, though. Some individuals were overheard mumbling that they should be paid the full 3 per cent.

“The IMF was shocked that St Vincent and the Grenadines at this time would be receiving 1.5 per cent, when the rest of the region does not enjoy that,” the SVGTU President said, in his rebuttal to the comments.

“We are living in harsh economic times and we have to be objective; we have to provide responsible leadership and this has nothing to do with which political fence you are on.

“I am not a politician. If you want to remove who in power, use that when you go to the polls. That’s your business. I am not getting into that,” he further stated.

The payment of the 3 per cent in full will have implication, Robinson told the teachers.

“If you want 3 per cent now, it means that those teachers who we would have encouraged to go to the Teachers’ College now, about 25 per cent of them would have to stay home. And then we are going to cry out in the schools that we do not have enough teachers.

“If we can’t see it that way, well the members of the Teachers Union could say to Oswald Robinson, pass a motion and go home.

“I expect the unexpected at anytime. But I am standing on a principled matter on this issue and we are examining both sides of the coin,” Robinson further stated.

On another note, Robinson appealed to teachers to make efforts towards keeping high standards of productivity and accountability on the job. He further outlined that next year will see the re-institution of quarterly meetings with the Ministry of Education, as keeping communication between the Union and the Ministry is of critical importance.

He further said the Union must put its house in order for the benefit of all its members and the development of the SVGTU.(AA)