I owe Mike Browne a tribute for his contribution to my personal development, and moreso, to our national advancement, especially in areas of education and trade unionism. Mike guided me to socialism, and was the stimulant for the transformation of the SVUT from a union in name, to being an important catalyst for social development of this nation. It is terribly tragic that this union through mis-leadership, is now all but an enemy to our children’s education, and this country’s future, thanks to the connivance of its present leadership to surrender this body as a bully pulpit of an ingrate whose wish to usurp the greatness of his benefactor, has rendered him a Don Quixote.
Beginning with Mike and continuing through the likes of the late Evonne Francis-Gibson and Joy Browne, the SVUT became another engine that helped spurred the development of our nation. Of course, it stood up for the rights of members, but never saw this as dichotomous to the wellbeing of our children’s educational progress. Up comes these loud-braying donkeys, i.e., present “leaders” of the Union, and under the control of rejected, bitter and hateful politicians happy to ride them; turned the Union into an instrument of these fraudulent patriots, drunk on the illusion they are legends. This mental pathology makes these Macbethian figures pathogens to the very idea of SVG’s development.
These donkeys, ignoring the practice of the use of good offices, negotiations, other methods of constructive engagement, and common sense, rush blindly to the courts with trivia showing the Union to be contemptuous of reason. With the election of the doltish to lead, the Union displays such crass inhumanity, indecency, impropriety, non-patriotism and selfishness that even you had the brain of a housefly, you must wonder whether its rank and file are totally apathetic.
The absurdities brayed by the donkeys include:
- The government must build a room on to each teacher’s home for on-line teaching!!
- Pointing a thermometer at a child’s forehead to check his temperature and thereby help protect the health of the entire school population, is a wicked violations of teachers’ right!!
- A lawyer/rejected politician is the best medical expert to lecture Union members on the Covid-19 vaccine. His recommendation: Deworming medication!! The rest of the world remains ignorant to the fact that Covid-19 is an intestinal parasite!
- That less than 80 teachers out of a union membership of over 12 hundred is a majority, sanctioning protest against Government’s efforts to protect the health of this nation!
- That the union has the right to instruct the Head of State to ignore the legislature, and what is best for the health of this nation as a whole!
I could list much more but the message is undisguised: Even with Covid-19 raging, the Union shamelessly holds our children and their education for ransom! I was taught first by Mike Browne and later Burns Bonadie, that while a union exists to promote its members’ interests, its destiny is tied to that of the interest of the enterprise in which it operates. Failure of the enterprise means inter alia the death of employment for its members. This is why a union must not by practice be averse to the progress of its members’ employers. Burns put it simply, “Richie, yo’ can’t kill the goose the lays your golden egg!” This is why the SVUT of Mike and Evonne started a credit union, provide furniture to schools that needed them, started a teachers’ summer training and other developmental programmes, and gave great moral and practical support to the National Association for Mass Education (NAME), and more. Alas, the Union’s only interest now is being a bully pulpit for a washed-up, infantilely spiteful and hateful politician. Mike and Evonne valiant efforts should never be reduced to this.
Yet, there is a larger issue here which is the use by a stupid and wicked minority of the levers of democracy to subject a society to its tyranny! This is a Hitlerian abuse of our democratic processes, and happens when donkeys become leaders! The SVUT has no moral compass. Yes, I say SVUT because I have not seen a single rebuke by any member of the Union of these wanton misleaders. My mother used to say “Silence gives….”.
I have been told that members are now leaving in droves. This is a warning that the union must determine whether it is committed to the best interest of its members, or the dictates of a Macbethian team; if it is part of SVG’s development process, or merely the dust particles of a political space blackhole whose pathetic ego, proclaims him center of our political universe. Being donkeys, the Union leaders must naturally submit to this latter asinine belief.
Richard A. Byron-Cox is author of Were Mama’s Tears in Vain?