The St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers Union has expressed concern about the health and wellness of its membership, some of whom have succumbed to one illness or the other.
The concern was raised by the union’s industrial Relations and Research Officer Andrew John.
Speaking on a radio programme earlier this month, John said so far for the year, six teachers have died.
According to John, from 2020 to the present time, 14 teachers in St Vincent and the Grenadines have died.
Additionally, John also expressed concern that a number of teachers are now “coming down with cancer.”
The Teachers Talk programme on July 17 on Xtreme Radio was titled ‘Teachers Welfare,’ and looked at ways in which teachers can improve their well being.
John, who was a guest on that programme, revealed that there are currently 47 teachers who cannot pay their medical insurance.
John is fearful that these teachers may not be able to afford medication and treatment for whatever ailment they are afflicted with.
In his estimation, the situation is “sending them to an early grave.”
He said with the retirement age now at 60 years, many teachers are tired.
“Some of them are opting for early retirement,” said the union executive.
John also noted the adverse effects of “the stress factor” in the lives of teachers in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The New Democratic Party’s spokesperson on education, Terrance Ollivierre has also expressed concern about the teaching environment.
In a recent interview with SEARCHLIGHT, Ollivierre said “when you look at the working environment, some of it is not really conducive to the teaching and learning process.”
Ollivierre added that “the stress under which some teachers work” also needs to be looked into.