Oswald Robinson has been re-elected for yet another term as president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union (SVGTU).
When the Union’s elections ended on Wednesday evening, the incumbent emerged victorious with 505 votes; more than 180 votes more than his challenger, Nickeisha Williams who received 318 votes.
“I just want to wish all my teachers all the best. I want to thank them sincerely for allowing me to serve. I will do my best but I expect them to continue rallying around and give their support; get involved with the work of the Union,” Robinson told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday morning, just hours after it was announced that he had been elected for another term in office.
This will be Robinson’s sixth collective term at the helm of the organisation, having served as president on five separate occasions as president.
The union leader said the outgoing executive has worked tirelessly in the difficult periods caused by the explosive volcanic eruptions, COVID-19, the dengue fever outbreak and the government’s vaccine policy which has left a number of teachers out of a job.
“When you put all of those in a nutshell, I am satisfied that the executive would’ve worked very hard, my staff at the office has done a tremendous job and we want to maintain that relationship so that we’ll be able to embrace the future and further development of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union. And the education sector will definitely benefit,” he said.
Robinson’s first vice president for the 2022-2024 term comes in the person of Nicole Martindale, who defeated Vanrick Williams for the position.
Williams was attempting to secure a second consecutive term in the position, but was only able to acquire 407 votes, 35 fewer votes than Martindale.
The president thanked Williams for his support in the past two years, and encouraged him not to be discouraged by his defeat.
“Mrs Martindale, who came forward and succeeded him, I want to wish her all the best and I know that we are going to work together for the interest of the union and all the other members of the executive…” Robinson said.
He also told SEARCHLIGHT that he is ready to hit the ground running with his new executive to implement ideas both for the benefit of the student and teacher population.
He further noted that teamwork is paramount moving forward, as there was much to be done.
And to those who were unsuccessful in this year’s election, Robinson said: “know that there is always another chance, and we look forward to your support as we go forward together because it’s one union and we have to move forward together in unison to achieve the objectives of the Teachers Union”.
All other candidates nominated for the remaining positions on the Union’s executive were unopposed.
Abdon Whyte will serve as the second vice president for the next two years.
Ketty Kydd-Rhynd and Meriah Samuel will both return to their positions of general secretary and treasurer respectively for another term.
The assistant general secretary and public relations officer positions will be filled by Tishanna Reid and Fiona Charles respectively.
Lesha Benjamin and Fenrick Pierre will serve as committee members in the upcoming term.
The elected officers will officially be installed at the SVGTU’s 22nd biennial convention, which is scheduled to take place in April.