The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union has apologised for a poster that suggested there are “no quality teachers” in schools after over 200 educators were fired last year over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The union came in for strong criticism on social media after the poster was released Thursday evening.
The message was conveyed in a poster advertising a protest organised by the union for next week in Kingstown, as the union calls for the reinstatement of the teachers, even as it challenges the government decision in court.
The poster, which featured a prominent photo of unions spokesperson Fiona Charles, said the union will be protesting against “no quality teachers”, “poor results for exams” and “no vaccination mandate”
Union President, Oswald Robinson apologised in a voice note sent to union members and the “general public” on Friday.
In the voice note, which was obtained by iWitness News, Robinson made a “sincere apology” on behalf of the national executive of the union “for the error that went out from our poster today and even late yesterday evening, it was already in circulation.
“There was an error on it with regards to quality teachers. We are very sorry for the error that is on the poster. It should have been ‘we need more adequate, qualified teachers in the classroom’,” Robinson said.
“And we are sorry for this misinformation,” Robinson said, adding that a new poster was being “crafted” and that the national executive was “scrutinising it” and it should be released “shortly”.
He thanked teachers and supporters of the union for their support in the last protest, which was held in Kingstown on Aug. 18.
“And we’re looking forward for your support again this Monday the 12th and Tuesday, the 13th of September, beginning at 10:30 a.m. We are expected to picket and also to march around the streets of Kingstown,” Robinson said.
“Once again, we apologise for that miscommunication. And we are working assiduously to present to you another poster so that the message is clear and precise and then there are not not any conflicting information.
“So please remember, we are saying that we need more qualified teachers in the classroom. We know for a fact that there are qualified teachers in the classroom, but we think that if we have more, it’s going to be better for the education system.”
Robinson said the union was concerned “about the deplorable conditions” of some of the nation’s schools.
“And we are asking teachers to really come on the picket line also as we struggle for repealing the law, reinstatement and also to ensure that all benefits are realised.”
Kenton over here we call a spoken message a voice mail. But I guess you can also call it a voice note. I hope teachers come out in big numbers and support their colleagues.
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