President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union, Oswald Robinson says his detractors will not side-track him from the union’s work.
“But, by now, they should realise that it is like water dropping on banana leaf when you try to attack me,” he said on the union’s radio programme on Sunday.
“Those things don’t trouble me. There are some things I don’t respond to as the president of the unions because when you respond, you give some people status, you make them relevant so I am not going to make you relevant out there.”
He said that some people use their “special radio programme” to attack the leadership of the union.
“They have even gone on their political platform in 2015 and lambasted the leadership of the union,” Robinson said, adding that his critics want to create doubt and mistrust.
“In some cases, there are some radio hosts described me as dunce and one guy who comes on a regular programme on mornings on a special radio station he said that I am obstructionist and very early year, they listed me with a number of other persons to say we had achieved some kind of gold medal of — I forget the terminology they use. But these are negative connotations that they use.”
Robinson said trade unions, generally, are pressure groups that lobby for the interest of workers
This government has shown that anytime there is a force to be reckoned with … they try to attack you left, right and centre,” Robinsons said.
“They use their political arm, the electorate to do that, and they themselves will come on in a very subtle way. When they don’t want to say ‘Robinson’, they say the leadership of the union. But some people think they are smart but they are not clever, or the other way around.”
The union leader said the “government continues to manipulate the laws to suit its own convenience.
“And that is why every now and again you hear a change in this and a change in that. You cannot be changing the rules in the middle of the game. That is like hitting below the belt,” Robinson said.
“And the other thing in relation to that, you want to make the union obsolete. Because you going out there and you having a conversation with people who are not members of the union. You are going to meet with a fraction of teachers, you are going to meet with parents, when you know … the union is the bargaining agent.”
He said that while some people might say that the vaccine mandate is not a collective bargaining issue, the union is the registered representative of teachers.