The St. Martin’s Secondary School (SMSS) has hired mathematics teacher Elvis Daniel, who was not rehired by the state when he contested the 2010 general elections for the opposition New Democratic Party.
But the Unity Labour Party administration has agreed to pay Daniel’s salary after the school, which is owned by the Catholic Church, made the request.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, told Parliament on Thursday that Bishop Jason Gordon wrote to the Government saying the school wanted to hire Daniel to teach maths.
“The St. Martin’s Secondary School is in desperate need of a maths teacher and from all reports, Mr. Daniel is very competent in this field. I am asking if the Ministry of Education would pay Mr. Daniel while he is employed at the School,” the bishop wrote, Gonsalves told Parliament.
“Mr. Speaker, the St. Martin’s Secondary School is hiring Mr. Daniel, not the Public Service Commission. And I have always indicated that I have nothing to do with the hiring of teachers,” Gonsalves said.
“But in the case where a request is made for the payment of a teacher, I become involved,” he further stated.
“So I have accordingly given the instructions to both the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and the Director General of Finance and Planning that Mr. Elvis Daniel be paid as a graduate teacher at St. Martin’s Secondary School and this has the full support of the Cabinet of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said.
Daniel, Ken Johnson, and Addison “Bash” Thomas resigned from the teacher service ahead of the 2010 vote.
Their resign came as the Government described as “aspirational” and unconstitutional a clause of the 2005 collective agreement it signed with the Teachers’ Union.
The provision would have allowed teachers who ran and lost in national elections to be rehired.
The Government did not rehire the three teachers.