The Teachers’ Union and the Public Service Union (PSU) are continuing with their efforts to get the Ralph Gonsalves government to meet their demand for a one-month, tax-free salary payment in the absence of pay increases since 2011.
“The whole plan is to mobilise our members, bring them up to date on what is happening, use the media to inform the public because we need the public to understand the request and why it is needed,” President of the PSU, Elroy Boucher told I-Witness News
The unions are continuing in their efforts after being told earlier this month by Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, that his government is unlikely to be able to make the payment before year-end.
The executives of the unions held a joint meeting last week to discuss the way forward.
“The decision coming out of that meeting is for us to have a strategic approach to dealing with the issue,” Boucher told I-Witness News.
Each union will meet with its members next week.
“… the meeting should inform us on what decision or what form of action should be taken,” Boucher said.
As part of the media sensitisation campaign, Boucher appeared on the Teachers’ Union’s radio programme last week, he told I-Witness News.
He said the media appearances are intended to “inform the public about the details and the justification for the request”.
He said unions are pushing for the payment.
“… in fact one of the decision is unless the government has an offer on the table, there really is no need to go back to a meeting.
“We can’t go back to a meeting again to hear that you can’t do this and you can’t do this. We have gone to meetings so far with the same result. So, in light of that, any more dialogue would have to be with something substantial on the table,” Boucher said.
General elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are expected by year-end.
President of the Teachers’ Union, Oswald Robinson, has told I-Witness News that the efforts by the unions are unrelated to the upcoming vote, in which Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party will seek an unprecedented fourth consecutive term in office.
Mr Boucher quit the play acting, at the end of the day you will bow to the Marxist rules of solidarity. The workers are but pawns, there to be sacrificed on the alter of Marxism.
The comrade will not pay and you will back down, so that the end of that.
A lot of nonsense. The unions don’t need the general public on their side. They only need their members on their side. If their members are on side they need to call walk out on the first day of the new school year.
Closing the schools and government offices will quickly get the people’s attention big time. And who do you think they will blame and who do you think they will they side with?
But this won’t happen because the union brass is in the pocket of the ULP. So all of this is rhetorical posturing.
This is an opportunity for the union bosses to show they have more balls than an ant. I agree with Davids statement that he doesn’t need public support. This is in the teachers’ court and they should play ball. Whether a teacher is a ULP or NDP supporter he/she is still catching his/her arse. The cost of living has increased but salaries remain the same. Taxes have increased on several fronts, which make it harder for both ULP and NDP workers. If this is not enough ammunition to ask for a change, then Ralph should continue to starve the whole lot of them.
You all allowing Gonsalves to have things his way too much.Mr Eaustace and the NDP was more cooperative back in 2001 and yet he was not given any chance .Julian,Ralph and the ODD shut down SVG.How come this has not happened to Gonsalves and the ULP as yet with all this disrespect he dishes out to you all?
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