The Ministry of Education said, on Monday, that “regular school activities will continue as usual” on Tuesday (today) — when teachers and other public sector workers are expected to strike.
“You are therefore advised to take your children to school as you would normally do so as to have their education continue,” Chief Education Officer, Lou-Ann Gilchrist said in a press release.
President of the Teachers’ Union Oswald Robinson, told I-Witness News on Sunday that his union, along with the Public Service Union (PSU) will go ahead with the strike, as planned.
“We are calling on our members to take heed. To parents, we have already issued a press release. Keep your children at home,” Robinson told I-Witness News.
“The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union is withdrawing the services of its members,” he said.
But Gilchrist said teachers are implored “to fulfill their obligations to the nation’s youth by attending school and continuing normal instructional and supervisory activities.
“The Ministry of Education thanks all parties concerned for their cooperation as we forge ahead in the interest of all,” Gilchrist said.
The back of this monopolistic labour union needs to be broken. Why? Because most parents have to choice but to send their children to a government school because they can’t afford to send them to a better high-fees private school. This is what a monopoly means: not being able to freely choose some alternative.
When grocery store personnel go on strike, the public can take their business elsewhere.
If the parents have no choice of where to send their children, why should the teachers have the choice to strike?
Teachers and other government workers have life-time job security just for showing up to work in a semi-sober condition. They have high comparative salaries and excellent benefits. They should be grateful for what they get in such a poor country.
As part of a government monopoly, the teachers should have long been classified as essential government employees and prevented from striking, as are essential workers like the police, fire fighters, emergency health workers, and others all over the world.
The same holds true for other unionized government employees.
The Prime Minister should put his foot down on this issue and re-write the laws of SVG to prevent such monopolistic blackmail.
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