EDITOR: I write this letter in response to a statement made by the president of SVGTU to the media in a recent press conference, where he stated that the four executive members, who he claimed sabotaged the strike in October 2015, are been rewarded, because they are heading education institutions. This statement was irrational and absolute rubbish.
First of all, I became a member of SVGTU since 1979 and was involved in every strike action organized by the union up to 2008, because they were all legitimate. The October 2015 strike was planned by a few executive members and was not sanctioned by the membership.
Did the president forget that some of these teachers completed a first degree in Education Administration with him, through the same programme? Are we all square pegs in round holes? Does your degree have more weight than ours? I was a principal during the strike, so what reward did I get?
Are you also saying that the teachers who did not strike in 2008 and are appointed senior and graduate teachers were also rewarded? What about those who did strike and were promoted? Will you say that they are âbuyoutâ? Time to stop this nonsense talk of people being rewarded politically, when they have the qualifications for the position. What do you expect teachers with a degree to do, donât look for a promotion because they are members or past members of the SVGTU executive?
In 2008, the strike was well organized. You were a past president. Were you on the picket line? I was not a principal and was never looking for political patronage. Were you a principal then? Or, were you awaiting the same reward that you claimed the others received? You were not voted out because of your action in 2008. The executive then did not have anyone degrading you on Facebook and other places, as your cronies did to the four executive members who did not strike in 2015.
What did you achieve for the members for almost six years? Why are teachers with a first degree being appointed as senior teachers instead of graduates? Where is the new collective agreement? Are the members aware that under your presidency over $50,000 was spent to take eight out of nine executive members to Dominica at a CUT conference in 2015? (I refused to go because I thought it was too expensive for the union). Are you talking about rewards? Talk about these issues.
Your statement that âthe unionâs convention carried out a motion to remove the former executive members from representing the union on the National Labour Congress (NLC)â is misleading, because I never represented the union on NLC.
I am encouraging young teachers to join the union and familiarize themselves with the unionâs constitution and do not allow the executive to hoodwink you in any way.