KINGSTOWN, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Wednesday November 15, 2017 – Almost ten months after the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union tabled a proposal for a pay hike, they are still to receive a response from the Government.
And union president Oswald Robinson says teachers are losing patience. He warned that teachers have not forgotten and are still expecting a favourable response from the Ralph Gonsalves administration.
“We are not going to give up on that, because a lot of our teachers, out there, they are crying. The pocket change they are getting, it could hardly make ends meet,” Robinson said, adding that the union was prepared to flex its muscles if needed.
“As a union, we must fight for socio-economic justice and we are continuing to do that. We are united, we stand tall, we are resolute and we are not going to give up.”
He rubbished the idea that the union’s demands were political, saying that it had to deal with the “bread and butter” issues facing its members.
Meanwhile, the teachers are not only lobbying for better pay, they are joining their regional counterparts in pushing the Caribbean Examinations Council to compensate teachers for marking the school-based assessments (SBAs).
The union’s general secretary Paulette Williams charged that “CXC has been acting outside of its remit”.
“We are saying that our employer is the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and not CXC and so when they pile on more workload and they are bringing on more subjects now to write SBAs and teachers have to correct draft, after draft, after draft and then the final documents, we are saying that we should be compensated for this work,” Williams said.
Today, the union executive will present a resolution to its members to take a position on the issue.
“We don’t want to get to the stage where we have to be involved in a fight with our government over this. We believe it is CXC’s responsibility and we want to send that message in very, very clear terms so that we have some movement on the issue,” Williams said.